MS Dhoni had made himself unavailable for selection since the end of World Cup 2019, and on Thursday the Indian cricket board left the former World Cup-winning captain out of its Annual Player Contracts for the 2019-20 season.
The development has raised fresh doubts on the future of the wicket-keeper batsman who has not featured in an international match since the World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand last year.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced central contracts for players for the 2019-20 season.
India skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah have been retained in the highest A+ bracket of Rs 7 crore. Meanwhile, KL Rahul has been upgraded from B grade to A.
BCCI announces Annual Player Contracts for Senior Men’s team for the period from Oct 2019 to Sept 2020. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah in Grade A+; R Ashwin, R Jadeja, B Kumar, Mohd Shami, C Pujara, KL Rahul, A Rahane, S Dhawan, I Sharma, K Yadav, R Pant in Grade A. pic.twitter.com/8rUn2VzSYf
— ANI (@ANI) January 16, 2020
Mayank Agarwal, who has emerged as the standout member in the longer format of the game, has also been included in the Grade B list, which also features Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar are the new faces, which have been added to the Grade C list. The list also features Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, and Shardul Thakur.
Among the players who have been dropped by BCCI from their annual contract are Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik.
Soon after the development #ThankYouDhoni started trending on Twitter and was top on Thursday afternoon.
Grade A+: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
Grade A: Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant.
Grade B: Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal.
Grade C: Kedar Jadhav, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar.
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