The BCB has slashed the number of centrally contracted players from 16 last year to 10 this year. It is, by all measure, an indictment of the Bangladesh team's average performance in 2017 compared to the relative highs of 2015 and 2016.

The unchanged salary too indicated how much the board rated their performance.

Soumya Sarkar, Mosaddek Hossain, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Imrul Kayes, Taskin Ahmed and Sabbir Rahman have been kept out of the coveted list.

Apart from the five senior cricketers, the BCB have included Taijul Islam, Mominul Haque, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain and Mehidy Hasan among the contracted cricketers for 2018.

BCB president Nazmul Hassan said that their salary will also remain the same as last year, although he said that three more players will be included by the board later. The board directors also couldn't come to a conclusion about which player will fall under which grade. . "We have reduced in number because the cricket operations and selectors have decided it. They think that their performances have not been up to a level that makes a compelling case for them to be included in the contract," he said.

Soumya is perhaps the most significant name cut from this year's salary list. He started 2017 with a string of Test fifties but in the year's marquee event - the ICC Champions Trophy - he averaged 8.50 in four matches. Against Australia at home and in South Africa, he remained in lackluster form before being dropped for Tests and ODIs against Sri Lanka earlier this year. He retained his T20 spot, though he averaged just 10.00 in the Nidahas Trophy.

Imrul is another noteworthy miss, having averaged 18.93 in Tests, 25.00 in ODIs and 10.40 in T20s since January 2017. Taskin too misses out for taking 20 wickets in all three formats combined, at 65.50 bowling average.

An eye condition kept Mosaddek out for most of 2017 although his dogged innings against Sri Lanka in Chittagong back in January this year seemingly saved Bangladesh from a Test defeat, but he was axed from the squad altogether. Rabbi played three Tests last year while Sabbir was stripped off his 2017 contract in January this year after he was found guilty of beating up a kid during a domestic first-class match.