While cricket fans across the world continue to speculate over Dhoni’s future, the BCCI has dropped the legendary cricketer from their latest annual contract list for the period of October 2019 to September 2020.
Dhoni in the last annual contracts that were announced was in Grade A (Rs 5 Crore). There are a total of four grades (A+, A, B and C) and Dhoni’s name doesn’t feature in any grade this time.
Dhoni’s contract not being renewed is not a huge surprise considering he hasn’t played a competitive game since the World Cup semifinal on July 9 2019. He has been on sabbatical and has refused to divulge his future plans.
India head coach Ravi Shastri had recently said that Dhoni may soon end his ODI career but could be in contention for a spot in the T20 World Cup squad provided he does well in the IPL.
Outgoing chief selector MSK Prasad has already made his stance clear on Dhoni, saying the World Cup-winning captain can only be selected again on the basis of performances.
While Dhoni has not revealed anything about his future, he is very much expected to captain Chennai Super Kings in the upcoming edition of the IPL.
Since the World Cup, he has missed the tour of the West Indies and the home series against South Africa, Bangladesh, the West Indies and the ongoing one against Australia.
One of the biggest names in Indian cricket, Dhoni led India to two world titles — the 2007 World T20 title in South Africa and the 2011 ODI World Cup at home.
In what has been a glittering career Dhoni has so far played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20 Internationals for India, accumulating over 17,000 runs and effecting a staggering 829 dismissals behind the stumps.
India captain Virat Kohli, star opener Rohit Sharma and pacer Jasprit Bumrah have retained their top grade A+ BCCI contracts of Rs 7 Crore.
KL Rahul, who has been in ominous touch with the bat, has moved up from Grade B (Rs 3 crore) to Grade A (Rs 5 crore).
Wriddhiman Saha has also moved up from Grade C (Rs 1 crore) to Grade B (Rs 3 crore).
Five new players have been added to the contracts list. Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, and Navdeep Saini have got Grade C (Rs 1 crore) contracts, while Mayank Agarwal has been included in Grade B (Rs 3 crore).
Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik meanwhile have been dropped from the list of annual central contracts.
CENTRAL CONTRACT DETAILS
Period: October 2019 to September 2020
Grade A+: Rs 7 Crore
Grade A: Rs 5 Crore
Grade B: Rs 3 Crore
Grade C: Rs 1 crore
Full list of BCCI annual contracts for senior men cricketers: