The Board of Cricket Control India (BCCI) announced the Annual Player Retainership 2019-20 on Thursday. While this process is done every year, there was more spice to it this year. The exclusion of former skipper MS Dhoni from the list became a topic of debate. With no clarity about the wicket-keeper batsman’s future, this has come at a time when it was least expected.
There were several trends on social media surrounding this topic. At the same time, some of the cricketers made huge gains as they were promoted in the ranks. A few cricketers also found their name in the Annual Player Retainership for the first time ever. There weren’t too many surprises but a few opined that some of the players were put in a lesser pay bracket than what they actually deserve.
Here are five players who got less than what they deserved:
1. Cheteshwar Pujara
Test cricket is losing its sheen as the time progresses. It doesn’t attract a great viewership when compared to the other formats and thus is not as profitable. Yet, it is the purest form of cricket and the most testing one if you are a player. It is never easy against the red cherry moving erratically and batting on a fourth or fifth-day surface.
In recent times, there have also been talks about playing only four-day Tests. While this seems to be a dying format, many hold it very dear to themselves. At this point in time, there lies a responsibility on the big guns like BCCI to do everything to preserve the format. Giving an A+ contract to someone like Cheteshwar Pujara would have been a very encouraging sign.
There were instances in the past when skipper Virat Kohli also felt that players like Pujara should be given more value than what they get. The No.3 batsman is an integral part of the Test set-up and has had huge contributions in some of India’s most memorable wins. He toils extremely hard and gives nothing less than his best in five-day cricket. Had he got the INR 7 crore contract, it would have been great as he surely deserves it.
2. Mohammed Shami
The last 12 to 14 months have been quite a revelation for Mohammed Shami. He has worked a lot on his fitness and improved his bowling a great deal. The fast bowler has been at his best in recent times and has remained an irreplaceable part in the Test squad.
Moreover, he has also made a comeback into the ODI team and was part of the World Cup 2019 squad as well. With all the injuries for the fast bowlers of late, Team India is also looking at him as an option in T20 cricket. Shami is competing hard to find a place in the T20 World Cup 2020 squad and is clearly in the contention.
The Grade A+ contract is for the cricketers who feature in all the three formats for India on a regular basis. Mohammed Shami will surely have to serve in that capacity for the upcoming year and has had significant contributions last year as well. Thus, he should have been placed in the highest bracket.
3. Shreyas Iyer
The number four spot was a major concern for India in ODI cricket. Heading into the World Cup 2019, that was considered a massive weak link in this strong Indian line-up. While the team has somehow managed in that tournament, a long-term solution was always required.
That’s when Shreyas Iyer threw himself into the contention with some consistent domestic performances. He seems a great fit for this position given his ability to rotate the strike well. Even though he struggled slightly against the pacers, he is usually lethal against the spinners.
Iyer has averaged over 40 in the ODIs with a strike rate over 100. Moreover, he has been around in the T20I squad as well. To see him get only a ‘Grade C’ contract was quite perplexing. At the least, he should have been put in the ‘Grade B’ bracket.
4. Yuzvendra Chahal
Both Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav serve Team India in a similar capacity. The only difference is that the left-arm bowler has been around with the Test squad for a while now. While they played together for a while in white-ball cricket, they have been used interchangeably in recent times depending on the conditions.
Kuldeep Yadav last played a Test match in January 2019. Nearly three years into his Test debut, he only featured in six Tests thus far. Thus, it doesn’t really seem fair enough to put both these wrist spinners in two different price brackets at the Annual Player Retainership.
Yuzvendra Chahal features regularly in the ODI and T20I set-ups. He has been a match-winner for the side and is capable of picking important wickets through the middle overs. Just like Kuldeep, he should have been in the ‘Grade A’ category.
5. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya might have been out of the squad for a while now. Yet, he is one of those players who can walk straight back into the squad as soon as he is fit. This Annual Player Retainership holds till September 2020 and this all-rounder will have a huge role to play in that period.
A player like Hardik changes the dynamics of the side completely and adds a great amount of balance to the side. He is equally capable both with the bat as well as the ball and comes in as a great package. Moreover, he is an all-format player and comparisons can be drawn to KL Rahul who also has been in and out of the Test team.
Yet, it was quite surprising to see Rahul get an upgrade while Hardik getting overlooked. Currently, the Baroda cricketer is paid INR 3 crores per year. But he surely deserves more than this and the BCCI should have put him in the ‘Grade A’ category.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- Eoin Morgan is for England, what MS Dhoni used to be for India: Graeme Swann
- IPL 2021: Here is why #DhoniReturns is trending on Twitter ahead of the season
- Sachin Tendulkar suggested MS Dhoni’s name as Team India’s captain: Sharad Pawar
- India vs England, 2021: 4th Test, Day 1 – Virat Kohli creates new milestone, Ravi Ashwin’s feat, Axar Patel’s record and more stats
- IPL 2021: MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu arrive in Chennai for the training camp