What’s the story?
When BCCI announced the central contract holders for the 2016-17 season, the Indian fans were in for a shock as Suresh Raina’s name was missing from the list of contracted players. According to Uttar Pradesh’s coach, Rizwan Shamshad, Raina has become a reluctant cricketer and after his wedding, he is not concentrating on his game.
He also added that with a lot of youngsters in contention for a place in the Indian team, it will be very difficult for the left-hander to get back into the Indian team.
“His priorities have changed after he became a family man. I have noticed that he has not been concentrating on his game. He has become a reluctant cricketer. He just played three Ranji matches for UP this season and didn't turn out for Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare tournaments.
“With so many youngsters on the horizon, his chances of a comeback into Indian Test or ODI teams are bleak. He can still eye the T20s, but it will depend a lot on his IPL form where he will lead Gujarat Lions again,” he was quoted as saying to Mid-Day.
In case you didn’t know...
Suresh Raina has represented India in 233 ODIS and has scored 5568 runs and in the T20Is, he is one of India's successful batsman in the format with 1307 runs in 65 matches. In the latest BCCI contracts, Raina, who was in Grade B in the 2015-16 contracts, was omitted from the 2016-17 contracts list.
Being a regular in the Indian T20I XI, Raina last played a Test match in January 2015 while his last ODI came in October 2015.
The heart of the matter
In the latest BCCI contract list, the world no. 1 bowler in Tests, Ravindra Jadeja, along with Test specialists Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara got promoted and were given Grade A contracts.
The BCCI central contracts are divided into three categories (A, B and C), with an annual retainer amount of Rs. 2 crores, Rs. 1 crore and Rs. 50 lakh each. The match fees enhancements will be effective from the period starting October 1, 2016. An amount of Rs 15 lakhs per Test, Rs 6 lakhs per ODI and Rs 3 lakhs for T20 International will be paid to the players.
If a player who is not in the list of contracted players plays a minimum of three matches Test/ODI/T20I, he will be added in Grade 'C'/Grade 'B', respectively. With this, there are chances that Raina might get into the Grade B/Grade C as he has already played three T20Is for the Indian team in the duration.
It is unfortunate that Suresh Raina, India's third-leading run-getter in T20Is is not included in the list of the contracted players by BCCI while players who had played one/two matches for the country or even yet to make their debut are included in the list. With this, he has definitely gone down in the pecking order.
Having said that, if he is not concentrating on his game, then there is no point in giving him an exclusive contract.