Although former Indian skipper MS Dhoni missed out on the highest pay category as the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) announced new player contracts on Wednesday. BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai has revealed that the idea of introducing the A+ grade was actually MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli’s idea.
The CoA which was appointed by the Supreme Court of India announced the annual player contracts for its players for the period from October 2017 to September 2018. According to the new structure, Grade A+ was introduced for the first time apart which also included Grade A, B and C earlier.
In an interview with a popular Cricket website, Vinod Rai revealed that the idea of Grade A+ category actually came from MS Dhoni. “This suggestion originated from Virat and MS in the discussions,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Vinod Rai as saying.
Rai also said that several round of meetings were held between him, Diana Edulji, Rahul Johri, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri before they came to this decision. “Their logic was this category would have only players featuring in all three formats, players who are in the top-10 rankings. And hence the players would not occupy a permanent slot in this category because if you don't perform then you slip down the order,” Rai added.
VInod Rai’s revelation comes as a surprise since MS Dhoni himself had been demoted in the player contracts list. It looks like Dhoni has taken a leaf out of the page of U19 coach Rahul Dravid who recently asked the BCCI to reduce his prize money by Rs. 25 lakh after India’s victory in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand.