MS Dhoni may no longer be among India’s elite cricketers to win big bucks

The new year may not bring some very good news for MS Dhoni. The former Indian cricket team captain may get a demotion in terms of top central contracts with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Currently, Dhoni is one of the seven cricketers in the top ‘A’ category, who are paid Rs 2 crores per annum. The other two categories are ‘B’ (Rs 1 crore per annum) and ‘C’ – RS 50 lakh per annum.

But a proposed new structure of central contracts may see four categories – A+, A, B, C, according to reports. The top category will be A+, which will include cricketers who play in all formats. Dhoni, who retired from Test in 2014, may thus miss out on the top contract.

The structure has been proposed by BCCI’s Committee of Administrators. This comes after Virat Kohli, Dhoni and Ravi Shastri met the Vinod Rai-led panel in Novemeber to request for pay hike.

However, some players like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who in recent time have only played Tests, may be placed in the A + category on the basis of their ICC Ranking. Jadeja is currently world No. 3 while Ashwin is No. 4.

However, nothing has been finalised yet. The CoA will send the proposal to the BCCI officials, who will then give their feedback.

The demand for better pay is not new in Indian cricket. Former coach Anil Kumble too asked for increased pay, complaining that Indian cricketers do not get as much share from BCCI’s revenue like their international counterparts.