New contracts to benefit Men in Blue

Despite their five-wicket loss to the South Africans on Wednesday, the Indian team's stock value is at an all time high.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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New Delhi:

Despite their five-wicket loss to the South Africans on Wednesday, the Indian team's stock value is at an all time high after their 6-1 thrashing of Sri Lanka. It is believed that the player contracts for the current season will bring in more benefits for the Men in Blue. While the annual retainership amount is not expected to change, the criteria for selection will be changed making it a lot tougher for upcoming players to be awarded annual contracts. Irfan moves up Irfan Pathan's performance against Sri Lanka is likely to move the Baroda speedster up from Grade B to Grade A when the new player contracts come into existence. But his former bowling partner Ashish Nehra may not be so lucky. His constant injury worries and his so-called frosty relationship with coach Greg Chappell could see him miss out on a retainership. Luckily for former captain Sourav Ganguly, this is one selection that he does not have to worry about. He may be out of the ODI team right now, but it is confirmed that he will be awarded a Grade A contract. The contents of the contract have been approved by the players and the review committee. According to the new contract, players will be allowed to continue with their media commitments in newspapers and give interviews to television channels. The players have also asked for timing of payments to improve. Criteria to be changed The criteria of the contract is also likely to be changed from three Tests and 10 ODIs to five Tests and 15 ODIs. Players also want the match fee for Tests and ODIs to improve with weightage being given to Test matches. Apart from that players want the bonus fee for winning a series to be a fixed amount. Also any player performing outstandingly in a series should be given an immediate contract. Some of players likely to be awarded a contract are MS Dhoni, Dinesh Kaarthick and Gautam Gambhir, while Aakash Chopra and Parthiv Patel are expected to miss out. The only clause that the BCCI has made is that players must wear the Indian team jersey during prize distribution ceremonies. Unfortunately for the players, the current imbroglio in the BCCI in India has affected their contracts too. The review panel has already submitted its report to the BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra, but a decision will only now be possible once the Board elections have taken place at the end this month.