Ex-Pakistan skipper Ramiz Raja has echoed Ramachandra Guha’s statement by questioning the logic behind awarding MS Dhoni a Grade A contract despite the latter retiring from Test cricket. He also asked the Asian powerhouses to take the leadership in the promotion of the longest version of the sport.
Dhoni retired from the Test format after the series loss to Australia in 2014 but has continued to be an integral member of the limited-overs set-up. However, his recent struggles have resulted in his place in the side being questioned by many former cricketers. Dhoni has been enjoying BCCI's Grade-A contract alongside captain Virat Kohli, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, and Murali Vijay. On the other hand, cricketers like Umesh Yadav and KL Rahul, who have proved themselves in the Test format, are placed in the Grade-B, which forced Raja to question BCCI's decision.
“For example, MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from the BCCI, Shahid Afridi retired from Test cricket yet got the A-grade contract from PCB,” Raja was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
The former skipper further added, “It is under a lot of stress in Asia but if we have a properly planned Test match championship, that’s the way out of this, otherwise we will be struggling to put aside as much money as is available for the T20 leagues.”
Former CoA member Ramchandra Guha, who stepped down as the member of the Committee of Administrators last month by sending a scathing resignation letter to the CoA chairman Vinod Rai, had also questioned the logic behind giving Dhoni a Grade A contract, by saying, “Unfortunately, the superstar syndrome has distorted the system of Indian team contracts. As you will recall, I had pointed out that awarding MS Dhoni an ‘A’ contract when he had explicitly ruled himself out from all Test matches was indefensible on cricketing grounds, and sends absolutely the wrong message.”