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The Stories Behind The Numbers That Indian Cricketers Pick For Their Jerseys

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"Play for the name on the front of the shirt and they will remember the one on the back."

And with the name, they'll associate your jersey number. Imagine what it must be like to wear your country's colours, kiss the crest while you celebrate with billions in unison? The camera pans to your name on the back and with it the number you picked for your jersey.

1. MS Dhoni (7)

His birthday falls on July 7th, Apart from that, he is also a supporter of Manchester United and some of the greatest players of the club like George Best, David Beckham & Cristiano Ronaldo wore number 7. There's no doubt that he is the greatest captain we've ever had and this legendary number suits our captain for sure.

2. Virat Kohli (18)

Has worn it ever since he won the U19 World Cup wearing 18. He captained the World Cup-winning Under 19 team. His number was 18 back then, so he decided to stick with it. 

3. Yuvraj Singh (12)

He was born on the 12th of December at 12 PM, He survived cancer and fought his way back into the team. The warrior carries his birth date & time on his back, and interestingly, he was also born in Sector 12 of Chandigarh.

4. Rohit Sharma (45)

His mother picked it for him during his U-19 days. His mother suggested that he should go for 45. The opener believes in having luck on his side and the number is certainly bringing him some.

5. Ravichandran Ashwin (99)

His favourite number is 9 Not only is 9 his favourite number, his school roll number was also 9. But when he joined Team India, Parthiv Patel (of all people!) had already taken that number, so Ashwin had to settle for 99. Ashwin's Twitter handle is also @ashwinravi99

6. Harbhajan Singh (3)

The off spinner was born on 3rd July. Bhajji is one of the best spinners of his generation and believes in wearing his birth date on the back of his jersey for good luck.

7. Shikhar Dhawan (25)

His family's lucky number. Dhawan's daughter was also born on the 25th, which further contributes to him liking that number on his jersey. Gabbar's Twitter handle is @SDhawan25.

8. Ravindra Jadeja (8)

The grand total of his birthday adds up to 8. He was born on 6/12/1988. 6+12+1+9+8+8 = 44 and 4+4 = 8. He also made his One Day debut for the country on the 8th of February, 2009.

9. Ajinkya Rahane (27)

Considers 9 to be his favourite number. He's the third player in the team to like/want the number 9. Since 2+7 = 9, the 27-year-old went for that combo.

10. Hardik Pandya (228)

His highest score for the Baroda U-16 team Baroda were struggling at 60/4 when Pandya came into bat. The all-rounder scored a double century and helped his side win the Test. However, for the World T20, he is wearing the number 33.

posted Mar 16, 2016 by Ritika Sharma

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The BCCI offered central contracts to 25 players for the upcoming season.

Just a few months ahead of the World Cup 2019, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Committee of Administrators announced the annual contracts for the Indian cricketers for the season 2018-19. The pay structure and slabs are the same as they were last year. They are divided into four categories – Grade A+, Grade A, Grade B and Grade C. These contracts are for the period from October 2018 and September 2019.

Grade A+

1. Virat Kohli – 7 Crores

The Indian skipper Virat Kohli, for the obvious reasons, retained his Grade A+ contract from last year. He leads the side across all the three formats and features in most of the games that they play. Kohli has been one of the most consistent performers for Team India.He is, more often than not, the lone warrior for the team in the batting department and was involved in many memorable wins. Kohli will get paid ₹7 crores for this period as a part of his contract. 

2. Rohit Sharma – ₹7 Crores

Rohit Sharma is another Indian cricketer who got the ‘Grade A+’ contract. He is the vice-captain of the Indian team in the two limited-overs formats of the game. Furthermore, he is more or less a regular feature in the Test squad as well.During the defined period, Rohit led India to triumph in the Asia Cup 2018. He also took the responsibility of the side whenever Virat Kohli was rested. Sharma will have an important role to play during the World Cup 2019.

3. Jasprit Bumrah – 7 Crores

Jasprit Bumrah made his Test debut early in 2018 and has evolved as the leader of the bowling attack. He is easily the best in the business for the ‘Men in Blue’ at the moment. Be it any format, Bumrah has excelled at a consistent rate and has been the go-to man for the skipper.He is very effective with the red-ball and swings in both ways. He has got several tricks up his sleeve and his powers go up manifold when he has the white-ball in hand. Batsmen often find it the toughest to hit him for the big shots in the death over. For all his contributions, the pacer surely deserves a place in this price bracket.

Grade A

4. MS Dhoni – 5 Crores

In case he decides to retire after the World Cup 2019, this could be the last BCCI Central Contract for MS Dhoni. The veteran cricketer has been one of the best servants of the nation in the sport for almost a decade and a half. While he was usually given the top pay-scale, his contract was downscaled last year.The ‘Grade A+’ is only for the cricketers who feature in all the three formats regularly. The Ranchi batsman had retired from Tests is 2015, and thus he has been on a ‘Grade A’ contract from last year. After a rough 2018, he has found some form while playing in Australia earlier in the year.

5. Ravichandran Ashwin – 5 Crores

Even though he has been ignored for the limited-overs formats recently, Ravichandran Ashwin is still India’s main-man in Test cricket. The off-spinner has been performing well in the longest format of the game both at home and overseas. Rewarding his consistent performances, the BCCI decided to retain his ‘Grade A’ contract.Ashwin will earn 5 crores per annum as a part of his contract. The off-spinner is quite innovative with his game. 

6. Ravindra Jadeja – 5 Crores

Ravindra Jadeja was out of contention for limited-overs cricket until a few months ago. But an injury to Hardik Pandya during the Asia Cup 2018 earner him a surprise call-up. He has been around with the 50-overs squad consistently since then. He is quite an economical customer with the ball and also gives you wickets at regular intervals.Moreover, the southpaw is one of the most important members of the Indian Test set-up. He is rated one of the best all-rounders in the longest format at the moment and helps add a great balance to the side. Jadeja also will earn ₹5 crores this year.

7. Cheteshwar Pujara – 5 Crores

The recent Test success in overseas conditions would have been unimaginable without Cheteshwar Pujara. He is extremely patient and absolutely loves the longest format of the game. He had a crucial role to play in Team India’s first ever Test series win in Australia recently.Pujara can bat for hours together and muster a lot of runs. He often holds the batting line-up together in adversity and is hailed as the ‘modern-day wall’. India’s Test No.3 managed to retain his ‘Grade A’ contract from last year and will get paid ₹5 crores.

8. Ajinkya Rahane – 5 Crores

Ajinkya Rahane hasn’t been in the best of forms in the last year or so. Playing overseas, which was considered to be his forte, has ended up being a huge challenge. His consistency levels have gone down raising several questions.However, Rahane is a hard-working cricketer and always strives to improve his game. The right-hander doesn’t play much limited-overs cricket nowadays. 

9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar –5 Crores

Over the last year, several injuries have hindered the progress of Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Once an all-format player, Bhuvneshwar has only played a handful of games in the last few months. When was fit during the Australia Test series, the pacer failed to get a place in the eleven.Thus, his central contract was downgraded by the BCCI. From ‘Grade A+’ last year, he has now landed in the ‘Grade A’ category now. Thus, instead of ₹7 crores in the year, Bhuvi will now get a salary of ₹5 crores in the year.

10. Shikhar Dhawan –  5Crores

Shikhar Dhawan is another player who has struggled a great deal with his form. The left-hander has been highly inconsistent and failed to provide the team with good starts as he did earlier. As a consequence, Dhawan was also sacked from the Test team.Therefore, even his contract was downgraded from the top category to ‘Grade A’. However, Dhawan will try to give his everything for the team and could forge back into the ‘Grade A+’ next year. 

11. Ishant Sharma – 5 Crores

Indian pacer Ishant Sharma is coming off age with his bowling. Even though he is quite talented and has been around for quite a few years, Ishant always struggled to maintain consistency. Yet, because he was one of the best options available at that point in time, the management was forced to persist with him.This faith that was put in him back then is now reaping rewards. Ishant has been performing quite consistently in the Test arena. Thus, his contract was upgraded from ‘Grade B’ last year.


13. Kuldeep Yadav – 5 Crores

Kuldeep Yadav is making rapid progress in international cricket. The chinaman is getting better with every outing in the middle and is learning new things about his game. The batsmen all over the world, even good players of spin, haven’t been able to decode Kuldeep’s variations.


14. Rishabh Pant – 5 Crores

Rishabh Pant has made quite an impact at the highest level ever since he was picked in the Test squad during the England tour. He has worked a great deal on his wicket-keeping technique and is a much complete cricketer now. The 21-year-old already has got a century each in England and Australia in Test cricket.With these top-notch performances, he might have cemented his spot in the Test team. In white-ball cricket, though, he has been slightly inconsistent.

Grade B

15. KL Rahul – 3 Crores

KL Rahul has had a torrid time in the second half of 2018. The right-hander struggled to put bat to ball and had a miserable time. Despite getting several opportunities, he failed to repay the faith management put in him. Furthermore, as an insult to the wound, he invited a major controversy with some of the comments that he made on the talk show ‘Koffee with Karan’.

16. Umesh Yadav – 3 Crores

Inconsistency and Umesh Yadav go hand-in-hand. However, it isn’t this Vidarbha pacer who is at complete fault here. He has had his opportunities limited in the last few years even though he did well when he had a chance.This start-stop kind of career has somewhat affected his form and the sudden call-ups into the eleven didn’t do much good for him. Moreover, the management hasn’t backed him much and he was dropped from the side just after one or two poor shows. 

17. Yuzvendra Chahal – 3 Crores

Many might have expected Yuzvendra Chahal to bag a ‘Grade A’ contract just like his spin twin Kuldeep Yadav. However, that didn’t happen as Chahal doesn’t ply his trade in Test cricket. He has been limited to white-ball cricket and hasn’t played all the games as a part of the team’s rotation policy with the spinners.Though, the leg-spinner made a mark whenever he has got an opportunity. He has retained his pay scale from last year. With some good performances in the next few months, Chahal will eye at an upgraded contract next time around.

18. Hardik Pandya – 3 Crores

In the period defined for these contracts, Hardik Pandya hardly played any international cricket. He got injured right in September 2018 and was thus ruled out for nearly two months. Then, when he made a comeback into the team during the Australia series, he didn’t get an opportunity in the playing eleven for the fourth Test.At this point in time, Koffee with Karan episode was aired putting a halt to his career. He then made a comeback in the New Zealand tour after his suspension was lifted.

Grade C

19. Kedar Jadhav – 1 Crore

Kedar Jadhav has improved his game a great deal ever since he made his India debut. A veteran in domestic cricket, Jadhav is known for his unique and unorthodox shots. He hits the bowlers to such areas in the ground which are usually unimaginable. Moreover, he is a very handy bowler and picks up wickets at regular intervals.Batsmen usually find it tough against his low-arm, usual action. Jadhav thinks exactly like a batsman when he is bowling and that is what made with so successful with the bat. He is a regular feature in the Indian ODI side and takes the role of the finisher. It has been a while since this batting all-rounder played a T20I game and currently only features in one format. So he gets paid ₹1 crore for the year.

20. Dinesh Karthik – 1 Crore

Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik has played some high-quality cricket in the last few months. However, he hasn’t got as many opportunities as he’d like. There is high competition amongst the wicket-keepers in the country with MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant around.Therefore, Karthik’s role has been limited and it remains an uncertainty if he finds himself a spot in the World Cup 2019 squad. Moreover, his contract has been downgraded for this year. He will earn ₹1 crore instead of the ₹3 crores that he earned last year.

21. Ambati Rayudu – 1 Crore

When the Indian team was struggling to find a reliable number four ahead of the World Cup 2019, Ambati Rayudu came up as the solution to the problems. He is capable of building an innings and can accelerate whenever required. Rayudu has got a wide array of shots and adapts to various conditions well.Even though he has struggled in recent times, he is just one knock away from finding his mojo back. Given that he has fared well for some time now, the BCCI decided to offer him a central contract. He plays only one format of the game and therefore is placed in the ‘Grade C’ bracket.

22. Manish Pandey – 1 Crore

It is quite a surprising call taken by the board to give Manish Pandey a central contract. This Karnataka batsman hasn’t played an international game since September last year. In the various opportunities that he got in ODI cricket, Pandey failed to create an impression and was thus axed from the squad.However, he has performed well at the domestic level and was always in the contention for a national call-up. This might have helped him retain his central contract this year. Like the other cricketers here, Pandey will earn ₹1 crore per annum.

23. Hanuma Vihari – 1 Crore

Hanuma Vihari, from whatever we have seen thus far, seems to be an extremely hard-working and talented batsman. He is a team player and is ready to do whatever the management asks him. He even opened the innings in Australia even though he didn’t have a great deal of exposure batting at that position.The 25-year-old played represented India in four Tests thus far and definitely has a long career ahead representing India. For the first time, Vihari was offered a central contract. The BCCI’s CoA placed him in the ₹1 crore slab and he would be looking to improve on that by the time next contracts are announced.

Apart from Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Team India has been hunting for the third pacer in the side for a long time before Mohammed Shami rose up to the occasion. In the process, Khaleel Ahmed was also tried out in quite a few games. The left-arm pacer bowls quick and seems to be quite talented.But, he is still a work-in-progress and there are several aspects of his game that are still to be improved. Khaleel could be one of the important bowlers in the near future. He needs to work on a few aspects like controlling the run-flow and bowling well at the death. As an incentive for whatever he has done thus far, Khaleel has got a ₹1 crore contract.

25. Wriddhiman Saha – 1 Crore

Since he only features in the Test team, he wouldn’t be in action again till the end of the World Cup 2019. Hence, his contract was downgraded by the cricket council in India. While he had a ‘Grade A’ contract last year, Saha is now a part of the ‘Grade C’ contract this year.

*Inclusions – Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Hanuma Vihari, Khaleel Ahmed, Wridhhiman Saha; Exclusions – Suresh Raina, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav.

* – Inclusions and exclusions defined only for that particular category. A player might have been upgraded, downgraded or removed from the central contracts.






The match had gone last possible minute. Mumbai Indians were practically through with the pursuit. Be that as it may, there was MS Dhoni behind the stumps. Watching the whole ground nearly, he rolled out improvements in the field to put the Mumbai side on the backfoot. Indeed, even the Rising Pune Supergiant commander Steve Smith strolled up to him for profitable exhortation in the withering minutes of the match. His sharp personality had every one of the arrangements. In the end, RPS won the match by 3 runs.

In spite of venturing down as commander of the Indian side, the chief in him isn't dead. All things considered, regardless he has a similar outlook as a skipper. Now, it is well-suited to take a gander at minutes when MSD developed as friend in need notwithstanding being non-skipper of the side.

1. Dhoni saves Smith's day

During Rising Pune Supergiant's current amusement against Mumbai Indians, RPS chief Steve Smith had no other alternative yet approach MS Dhoni, whose last-minute counsel did the trap for RPS in a match against Mumbai Indians. Prior to that, Smith had as of now hailed Dhoni as a class player.

2. Dhoni is still Kohli's main advisor

During the England visit, Kohli said something that made each Dhoni fan go bonkers. He said he is as yet taking T20 cricket lessons from Captain Cool. All things considered, it was Dhoni's recommendation that helped India secure the T20 arrangement 2-1.

3. Mahi asks umpires to stop the game

This was the Nagpur T20I against England back in January. As Dhoni was keeping wickets, he recognized that one of the safeguards were not working. He instantly requested that the umpire have the LED safeguards changed to guarantee reasonable play.

4. Commentators are used to calling Mahi captain

During the third ODI against England in Kolkata, Manjrekar, while doing critique, alluded to Dhoni as the chief of the Indian side. In the fifteenth over, after Kohli had a snappy word with MSD, Manjrekar stated, ""Kohli winds up taking the decision of the skipper."

5. Dhoni's advised but Kohli paid the price for overlooking it

During the third and last ODI between India and England, Kohli accepted a DRS call in spite of Dhoni requesting that him not do as such. Kohli ought to have tuned in to Dhoni on the grounds that an official choice was not out.

6. Dhoni takes the DRS without Kohli's permission

During an ODI in Pune against England, MS Dhoni overlooked he's skipper and promptly required an audit in an offered to send Eoin Morgan back to the pavilion.

7. How Dhoni saved Yuvraj Singh's wicket

This occurred during the Cuttack ODI when Yuvraj Singh attempted to cut Chris Woakes yet the English side offered hard for a caught behind. At that point Dhoni proceeded approached Yuvi to require a review.

8. Dhoni is still the best, says Ajinkya Rahane

After Steve Smith assumed responsibility of Rising Pune Supergiant, Rahane was made a request to settle on a decision between MS Dhoni and the Australian captain. Rahane glaringly said that Dhoni is as yet the best leader ever.

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