Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been kept in Grade A category by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from October 2017 to September 2018 and will be paid Rs 5 crore for the same period. In the Annual Player Contracts announced by the BCCI on Wednesday a new category A+ has been introduced and players in the same will be paid Rs 7 crore for the period October 2017 to September 2018. The salary announced for the players is over and above their match fee.
When the contract details were announced, it came as a surprise to see Dhoni getting paid less than players like Jasprit Bumrah who made his T20 and ODI debut just two years back in January 2016 and played his first test in January 2018. The other players who in Grade A+ are Indian captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
All those in Grade A+ have lesser experience than Dhoni but since they play in all three formats – Tests, ODIs and T20Is, they are being paid much more than the wicketkeeper-batsman from Jharkhand who retired from Tests in December 2014.
Only those players who represent the team in all three formats and are in the top 10 in ICC players’ ranking can be part of Grade A+. Since Dhoni does not fulfil the criteria, he has been kept in Grade A while the other five players in A+ category.
While Kohli and Dhoni were in Grade A in the 2017 BCCI annual contract and were paid Rs 2 crore per annum; Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were in Grade B and got Rs 1 crore. Shikhar Dhawan was in Grade C and eligible for just Rs 50 lakh per year.
Dhoni is the only captain to have led his team to wins in all three ICC limited-overs championships along with securing the top spot in Test team rankings. Under Dhoni India won the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, the One-Day International World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013. Indian team also became the number 1 ranked Test team under Dhoni in 2009.