On April 15, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) announced their list of contracted players for the period of October 2020 to September 2021. As many as 28 players made it to the list.
While Hardik Pandya has been promoted to Grade A from Grade B, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj and Shubman Gill have made it to Grade C. Shardul Thakur has moved up from Grade C to Grade B, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been demoted to the Grade B category due to the lack of cricket he has played in the last one year. Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey have been axed from the annual contract list.
There are four grades with variable salaries in BCCI’s contract for a season. While Grade A+ cricketers are paid INR 7 crores, Grade A cricketers receive INR 5 crores. Grade B and Grade C cricketers are paid INR 3 crores and INR 1 crore, respectively.
The list of Grade A+ cricketers includes Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah.
The annual contracts made a lot of buzz on social media due to the changes it incorporated. One such cricketer that caught the eye of everyone was Ravindra Jadeja. Though many people believe that Jadeja should have been included in Grade A+, all he got was Grade A.
Grade A+ cricketers are mainly those who play all three formats and are among the top 10 in ICC rankings.
Considering Jadeja is among the top 10 list in both ODI and Test rankings of all-rounders, cricketing pundits asserted that he should have been in Grade A+. The 32-year-old is at the third position in Tests rankings of all-rounders, only behind England’s Ben Stokes and West Indies’ Jason Holder.
Talking about the same, cricketer-turned-commentator Micheal Vaughan has expressed his dismay on Twitter. The former England-skipper said that Jadeja should have been included in the top category just behind Kohli.
“Disgrace … he should be on a the biggest behind Virat…,” tweeted Vaughan.
Disgrace … he should be on a the biggest behind Virat … https://t.co/vx3IqqAYJZ
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 16, 2021
According to reports, Jadeja was considered for A+, but for the lack of cricket he has played in the last one year, the Jamnagar-born failed to move up the contract list. The left-handed all-rounder missed a part of Australia tour and the home series against England.
Former chief selector of Indian cricket, MSK Prasad, also backed Jadeja and declared that he could not think of any other reason for excluding the Saurashtra cricketer from Grade A+.
“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,” Prasad told Cricbuzz.