A+ category was proposed by Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, reveals CoA chief Vinod Rai


New Delhi: Contrary to popular belief that Mahendra Singh Dhoni was relegated from the elite category of central contracts, it was the former skipper himself who wanted an A+ grade for top performers, says CoA chief Vinod Rai.
Twenty-six cricketers have been handed central contracts with skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah being included in the Rs 7 crore A+ category. Dhoni is in the A category with Rs 5 crore annual retainership.
“This A+ category was proposed by the players themselves. We had a discussion about this category with Dhoni and Virat. They proposed that there should be a category of world-class excellence in which players who play all three formats of the game should be there,” Rai told PTI in an exclusive interview.
The head of the Committee of Administrators said both Dhoni and Kohli wanted A+ to be a functional category to indicate who are the Indian team’s top performers.“This should be a functional category where players move in and out. Also it will show that the best in the business are rewarded as per performance.”What the former CAG found heartening was the camaraderie between Kohli and Dhoni.“Their camaraderie is exceptional with so much mutual respect. Virat respects Dhoni’s cricketing acumen and Dhoni respects what Virat is achieving as a player,” said Rai.
In fact, Virat has told the CoA why he thinks Dhoni is irreplaceable in the limited-overs set-up as of now.“Virat feels that there is no faster pair of gloves than MS Dhoni today. Also Dhoni’s cricketing mind honed over so many years is an asset for Virat. As far as how many years of cricket is left in him, time and his performance will tell,” he said.
Rai said that the best part about central contracts was that it ensured a decent earning for domestic players.“These increases have been proposed in consultation with the players. Domestic players, who were getting Rs 10-12 lakh per annum, will now get Rs 20-22 lakh per annum in addition to the earnings from Gross Revenue System (profits from TV broadcast).“Now with this kind of salary, domestic players can concentrate on their game without looking for jobs,” Rai said.There was a lot of anguish among BCCI office bearers at not being consulted and the finance committee being allegedly bypassed but Rai set the record straight.
West Bengal students delighted to find questions on Virat Kohli in Class X board examinations
Kolkata: Question papers seldom attract smiles of students, but if they are asked to write on Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, it is surely one such occasion. Students appearing for this year’s class 10 West Bengal board examination got this surprise when they were asked to write about the ace batsman’s life and career in 100 words, based on some reference points given in the English second language paper.
“In the ‘Unseen’ section, 10 marks were alloted for writing a biography on Kohli and almost all my friends opted for this question. We all were excited even after the English exam was over,” said Swarnabho Banerjee, student of Sagar Dutta High School of Belgharia.
Swaranabho’s friend Sudip Malakar said, “Even if the reference points were not given, we would have attempted this question. Is there anyone among us who does not know about Kohli?” Headmistress of a girls’ school said it showed that students have to be conversant with current affairs as well as their curriculum.
Cricketer-turned MLA Laxmi Ratan Shukla said the board has done the right thing by introducing a topic on Kohli in the question paper. “I think questions on icons of other sports too should be introduced in future by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and others,” he said.Board president Kalyanmoy Ganguly said, “Kohli is the newest addition. There had been questions on the lives of popular figures in the past as well.” Over 11 lakh students wrote the English paper in the examination conducted by the Board last week.
India Women suffer 97-run defeat, lose ODI series 3-0
Vadodara: India Women suffered their most embarrassing series defeats in recent times as Australia Women completed a 3-0 rout with a comprehensive 97-run drubbing of the hosts in the three-match ODI series.
Wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy smashed her way to a brilliant 133 off 115 balls with the Southern Stars piling up a massive 332 for 7.
In reply, India started off well riding on a 101-run partnership between Jemimah Rodrigues (42 off 41 balls) and Smriti Mandhana (52 off 42 balls) but their fight fizzled out as they were all out for 235 in 44.4 overs.
Healy’s maiden ODI hundred ensured that Australia’s margin of victory only got bigger as India’s campaign turned from bad to worse.
The humiliating series defeat comes right after the BCCI announced hefty central contracts, making Mithali Raj and Co richest players in women’s cricket.
The World Cup semi-final victory last year looks like a distant memory and Australians have nicely exacted revenge beating the ‘Women In Blue’ in their own backyard.
With Punam Raut rightly dropped from the playing XI after her painful knock, Mandhana and Rodrigues did try their bit hitting 17 boundaries between them in the first 13 overs but Gardner struck twice in as many balls to decisively turn the match in Australia’s favour.
Skipper Mithali Raj (21 off 38 balls) and her deputy Harmanpreet Kaur (25 off 26 balls) added 46 runs for the third wicket but the target was well beyond their reach.
Kaur hit four boundaries before edging one off seamer Nicola Carey to Healy behind the stumps.
Deepti Sharma (36) and Sushma Verma (30) started off steadily but failed to finish the match as the hosts were all out for 235 in 44.4 overs.Spinner Gardner took three wickets while pacers Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt claimed two wickets each.Earlier, after opting to bat, Australia lost their opener Nicole Bolton (11) after she was dismissed by left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht in the sixth over.However, Healy anchored the innings by playing a match-winning knock of 133 runs which was peppered with 17 boundaries and two sixes.Healy was assisted by vice-captain Haynes, who hit four boundaries. Beth Mooney (34) and Gardner (35) also played key knocks to help set a 300 plus target.
Brief Scores: Australia 332/7 (Alyssa Healy 133 off 115 balls, Harmanpreet Kaur 2/51 in 5.3 overs). India 235 in 44.4 overs (Smriti Mandhana 52, Jemimah Rodrigues 42, Ashleigh Gardner 3/39). Australia won by 97 runs.
Hopeful South Africa name Kagiso Rabada in Test squad
Kagiso Rabada has been named in South Africa’s squad for the third Test against Australia – but two other fast bowlers have been added in case he loses his appeal against a ban.
Rabada’s appeal against a ban for the last two Tests of the series will be heard by New Zealand judicial commissioner Michael Heron by teleconference on Monday, with a verdict due to be announced within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Duanne Olivier and Chris Morris have been included in a 17-man squad for the Test that starts at Newlands on Thursday.
Rabada was Man of the Match in South Africa`s series-levelling six-wicket victory in the second Test in Port Elizabeth. But he made contact with Steve Smith after dismissing the Australian captain and was penalised three demerit points, which took him to the eight-point threshold which triggers an automatic two-match ban.
Chief selector Linda Zondi said the squad would be pruned in time to allow players not selected for the Test team to play for their franchises in domestic matches starting on Thursday.
Both teams took a break from cricket after the Port Elizabeth Test but will start their preparations for the third Test on Monday.South African squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada.