Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 14 October 2019

Explainer: BCCI contracts – Rishabh Pant up, Shikhar Dhawan down and Virat Kohli same

Here is a look at which members of the Indian men's cricket team got what contracts

What a difference just seven months can make.

When Rishabh Pant made his Test debut in August last year, he was already something of a known commodity thanks to the promise he had shown in the Indian Premier League. But few could say for sure whether he would succeed in international cricket. In fact, the jury is still out on it.

But he has enjoyed a brilliant start to his India career, at least in the Test arena, having scored hundreds in England and Australia – the first wicketkeeper-batsman since Jeff Dujon of the West Indies to do so.

Just seven months later, the 21-year-old Delhi boy joins India's A-grade players earning a guaranteed US$715,000 (Dh2.6 million) a year for national team duty, as it was announced late on Thursday.

He is among 11 players who sit just below leading stars, captain Virat Kohli, senior batsman Rohit Sharma and paceman Jasprit Bumrah, who are guaranteed at least $1m each in the A-plus category.

Not bad for a player who is being groomed to take over from MS Dhoni as first-choice wicketkeeper in all formats.

The left-hander's breakthrough is the big talking point regarding contracts announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, but there are other nuggets to emerge from its headquarters as well.

Dhawan, Bhuvi and Saha drop places

Veteran batsman Shikhar Dhawan and bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar both dropped down from the top tier in pay lists for the contracts.

Opener Dhawan has been left out of the Test side and his form in the limited-overs formats has been up and down. At 33, there is still plenty of cricket left in the left-hander and he is indispensable from the ODI squad, at least for the moment. But he must be mindful of the quality of competition he is up against.

Paceman Bhuvneshwar has had to wrestle with injury issues and the void he left in the side recently was quickly filled by the resurgent Mohammed Shami, but he is still a quality seam bowler and it is only a matter of time before he returns to the top of the pay grade.

Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha dropped two places from A to C considering he missed a lot of cricket in 2018 due to injury. He is the best keeper in the country but will always be second-choice to Pant given he is 13 years older and not as good a batsman as the youngster is.

To see the list of players in A+ and A grades, check out the photo gallery above. To see the list of players in B and C grades, check out the photo gallery below. To move on to the next image, click on the arrows, or if using a mobile device simply swipe.

Players in grades B and C

Vijay out

Long-serving Test opening batsman Murali Vijay lost out on a contract after a poor year with the bat.

He was first dropped from the side during the England series and did not feature at home against the West Indies. But the right-hander paved his way back just in time for the Australia tour only to flop there, too.

Given that he turns 35 next month and the younger, hungrier Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal are already competing for places at the top of the order in the Test side, a second comeback within the space of a few months is looking highly unlikely.

No way back in yet

Meanwhile, the likes of middle-order batsmen Suresh Raina and Karun Nair, wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel, and spin-bowling all-rounders Jayant Yadav and Axar Patel have all been ignored.

This is not to say none of them have a chance to stage a comeback. Age is on their side, but they will need to buck up seeing as there is intense competition for pretty much every spot in the Indian team in all three formats.

Women's contracts in a nutshell

India's top male cricketers will earn more than 10 times as much as the leading women on the BCCI list. Former captain Mithali Raj, the highest run-scorer in the world, and three teammates in the female A list will be paid $71,500 each.

Updated: March 9, 2019 08:47 AM

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