Former chief selector, MSK Prasad opines that Ravindra Jadeja deserved to be in the Grade A+ category of the BCCI’s annual player contracts. On Thursday, BCCI announced its contracted player’s list for the term of October 2020 to September 2021.
Only 3 players – Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah – have been awarded A+ contracts for INR 7 cr annually. Ravindra Jadeja has been given a Grade A contract earning him INR 5 crore, and his exclusion from the top bracket surprised MSK Prasad.
The A+ category is for players featuring in all three formats, and MSK Prasad reckons the Saurashtra all-rounder, who is in the top 10 of ODI and Test ICC all-rounder rankings, should have been in the top pay-scale bracket as he is a key member of the side across formats.
“Jadeja is a genuine A+ candidate. Those who play all formats and have good ICC rankings are included in the list. I cannot see any reason why he was not considered for A + Grade,” MSK Prasad told Cricbuzz.
The one explicable reason for BCCI’s call is that the lack of game time he has had in the period of the contract. The contract is for the term from October 2020 to September 2021 and the left-hander has played little cricket in the past five months for India – he got injured during the Test series in Australia and missed all the matches at home against England.
I Can See Rishabh Pant In A+ Soon: MSK Prasad
The former wicket-keeper also predicts that Rishabh Pant, who is in the Grade A category, will soon be promoted to A+ as he will be a crucial member of the side across formats going forward. Due to his heroics in Australia, following the same form against England in Tests, not only he is a first-choice starter in the longest format but has also made a return to India’s white-ball teams.
With a long tour of England post the IPL, and T20 matches leading up to the T20 World Cup, both Pant and Jadeja will be imperative parts of the national side.
“I can see Pant in A+ soon. He is not regular now but it will be difficult to ignore him for the grade. Both Jadeja and Pant could be at the top bracket soon,” MSK Prasad added.
Allrounder Hardik Pandya was promoted from Grade B (INR 3 Cr) to Grade A (INR 5 Cr) while leg-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were demoted to Grade C. (INR 1 Cr). Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, are been given the Grade C contract while Shardul Thakur makes gains to the Grade B list.
India’s annual player contracts list:
Grade A+ (INR 7 Cr): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Grade A (INR 5 Cr): Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya
Grade B (INR 3 Cr): Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Mayank Agarwal
Grade C (INR 1 Cr): Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj