Reason behind T Natarajan missing out on central contracts by BCCI has been revealed
The Indian cricket team comprises a pool of talented cricketers. The competition in the team is so tough that even the bright prospects are warming up the bench. It is not that easy to break straight into the playing XI. The players who perform well on a consistent basis get featured in the set-up across the formats.
Based on their performance, the Board of Control for Cricket in India segregates the set of players into different categories. Just a day ago, the richest cricket body announced the annual list of salaries for contracted cricketers. Cricketers were put into Grade A+, Grade A, Grade B and Grade C category respectively.
Why didn't T Natarajan make it to the list?
While the big players made it to the list, there was one name that failed to make it to the list and it raised a lot of eyebrows of the cricket fraternity. He is none other than T Natarajan. The requirement to get awarded with the central contract is that a cricketer has to play a minimum of 3 Tests or 8 ODIs or 10 T20Is in a season.
Cricketers who play across formats consistently earn an A+ contract by the BCCI. Each year, the BCCI announces its annual contracts for the players in separate categories. It is well-known that cricketers belonging to A+ grade get 7 crores per year whereas the ones in Grade A get 5 crores as retainers.
Players of the Grade B category get 3 crores whereas the players belonging to the last category Grade C get 3 crores. Indian skipper Virat Kohli, limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma and prolific pacer Jasprit Bumrah are the only three players to have earned A+ Grade contract by BCCI.
T Natarajan made a mark for himself during India's tour of Australia. He also became the first Indian cricketer to make a debut in Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively. The Tamil Nadu-born cricketer played 1 Test, 2 ODIs, and 4 T20Is this season. But, his total number of games didn't meet the current standard set by India's governing body.
If Natarajan plays in two more Tests in England this year or if he features in 6 T20Is or ODIs before September 2021, he would be added to the annual contract list. Needless to say, the pacer will not get the entire salary and will get the income on a pro-rata basis.