Former captain, MS Dhoni has been excluded by BCCI from their annual list of contracts for players for the 2019-20 season.
Having retired from Test cricket in 2014 and stepping down as captain of India's shorter-overs formats teams in January 2017, Dhoni has been out of the cricket circuit since India’s semi-final exit in World Cup against New Zealand in July 2019. He was a part of BCCI’s central contract list last year, but has been excluded in this year’s 27-member list.
BCCI Central Contracts for 2019-20:
- Grade A+ (INR 7 cr):Virat Kohli Rohit Sharma Jasprit Bumrah
- Grade A (INR 5 cr):Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohd. Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant
- Grade B (INR 3 cr):Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal
- Grade C (INR 1 cr):Kedar Jadhav, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar
It was earlier this month that coach Ravi Shastri had stated the 38-year-old ‘may soon end his ODI career’ but refused to rule him out of the T20 World Cup.
"I have had a conversation with MS and that is between us," he said. "He has finished his Test career, he may soon end his ODI career.
“One thing I know about Dhoni is that he will not impose himself on the team. But if he has a cracking IPL, well, then..."
Dhoni, himself, hasn’t publicly spoken anything about his future, but talks about his potential retirement have been brought over and over again given that he will turn 39 in July.
Meanwhile, the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah are the only players included in the A+ category. Furthermore, there are as many as 11 players in Grade A, while five in Grade B and eight in Grade C.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar