Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently announced a new contract structure, by introducing a new grade, the A+ grade.
This was an idea given by Team India captain Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, and Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai stated the reason behind this.
"This suggestion originated from Virat and MS in the discussions," Rai was quoted saying to ESPNCricinfo.
"Their logic was this category would have only players featuring in all three formats, players who are in the top-10 rankings," he added.
"They wanted a category of pure excellence where you perform and you are rewarded. And hence the players would not occupy a permanent slot in this category because if you don't perform then you slip down the order,” he continued.
The 69 year-old also said that responsibility of confirming the shortlist of contracted players was taken by the national selection panel, led by chief selector MSK Prasad. He also added that neither CoA nor the BCCI management was involved in the process.
While Virat Kohli was promoted to the A+ grade, Dhoni remained in the A grade.
Here is the entire list of the contracted players, gradewise.
Distribution of Annual Player Contracts Team India (Senior Men):
Grade A +: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah
Grade A: Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Wridhhiman Saha
Grade B: KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Dinesh Karthik
Grade C: Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav