Niranjan Shah Feels Disappointed Not To See Cheteshwar Pujara In The Grade A+ Contract
Recently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released the Annual Player Contracts for the 2018-19 cricket season. The former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah feels disappointed not to see Cheteshwar Pujara in the A+ list.
There are four different grades in the present national team contract. While Grade A+ offers INR 7 crore, the Grade A, B and C offer INR 5 crore, INR 3 crore, and INR 1 crore respectively. According to the latest contracts, only the skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah are in the Grade A+ contract.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who was in the massive form during the last Test series in Australia, retains his place at Grade A. However, Niranjan Shah is not happy to see Cheteshwar Pujara in the Grade A list. The former BCCI secretary believes that Cheteshwar Pujara deserves to earn the A+ contract. He feels that it is highly unfair for Test cricket.
Recently, Niranjan Shah commented, “It was disappointing not to see Pujara’s name in A-plus list. It’s highly unfair that Tests are not given importance by the COA. After enjoying such a fantastic season in international cricket, Pujara deserved to be in the A-plus bracket. The way the CoA is running the game in India, the less said the better.”
Cheteshwar Pujara was in remarkable form during Australia tour
While India won their historic Test series in 2018/19 Australia tour by the 2-1 margin, Cheteshwar Pujara played a crucial role for the national team. He was the leading run-scorer in that series as he scored 521 runs in seven innings with an average of 74.42. The young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was the second most run-scorer in that series as he scored 350 runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara played a tireless cricket in that series. The Player of the Series award winner faced 1,258 deliveries in that series. In that series, he was very consistent with the bat. The right-handed batsman scored 123, 71, 24, 4, 106, 0 and 193 runs in that series. Apart from the Player of the Series award, he won two Player of the match awards in that series.
A Top BCCI official reveals why Cheteshwar Pujara is not in the Grade A+ contract
Though Niranjan Shah isn’t happy about the present Annual Player Contracts’ list, one top BCCI official feels that there shouldn’t be any debate for this. He has also revealed why Cheteshwar Pujara is not in the Grade A+ contract.
Only the automatic choice players for all the three formats and the top 10 international ranked players are eligible for the Grade A+ contract.
The official told TOI, “I fail to see a reason for this debate. There was a template set last year after discussing with the team management. It was agreed upon that only those players who are automatic choices in all the three formats, and are ranked in the top 10, will be eligible for a Grade A-plus contract. This isn’t a subjective decision. Pujara still has an A grade contract, after all.”
At present, Cheteshwar Pujara is playing only Test cricket. The right-handed top-order batsman hasn’t played an ODI since June 2014, while he hasn’t made his T20I debut yet. He has played only five ODIs where he has scored 51 runs with an average of 10.20.
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