MS Dhoni has been omitted from the list of centrally contracted players. The omission has left plenty of questions on his future in the Indian team.
Dhoni has been absent from India’s side following their defeat in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Instead, he was serving as an honorary lieutenant colonel in the army.
He hasn’t been named in India’s squad for five T20Is against New Zealand later this month. His IPL stint might decide his future in the Indian side, something which head coach Ravi Shastri has been very vocal about of late.
The Indian selectors have given young Rishabh Pant an extended run in the side as a potential replacement of Dhoni.
In the previous list of centrally contracted players, Dhoni was in the A category, earning approximately $715,000. Pant is among 11 players picked in the A-grade contract with batsman KL Rahul taking a major leap and replacing Dhoni.
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah retain their A+ category. The total number of players in this list have been reduced down from 29 to 27.
Grade A+ (INR 7 cr): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Grade A (INR 5 cr): R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul
Grade B (INR 3 cr): Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha, Mayank Agarwal
Grade C (INR 1 cr): Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari,, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar