Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja and Murali Vijay earned a promotion in the list of annual player contracts announced by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for 2016-17. While Pujara and Vijay earlier held Grade B contracts, it was a double jump for Jadeja, the No. 1 ranked bowler in Test cricket, who was a Grade C contracted player for the 2015-16 season.
The Committee of Administrators (COA), which met on Wednesday (March 22), also decided to double the annual retainer amounts. Grade A players will receive INR 2 Crore per annum while Grade B and C cricketers will be paid INR 1 Crore and INR 50 Lakh respectively. Apart from the amount received through their central contracts, the cricketers will also be paid INR 15 lakh per Test, INR 6 lakh per One Day International and INR 3 lakh for a Twenty20 International.
A total of 32 players, categorised under three different grades, were awarded central contracts which is effective from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017.
India captain Virat Kohli, former captain MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane retained their Grade A contracts while Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav were included again in Grade B.
The new entrants in Grade B were KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuvraj Singh. While Rahul and Saha, earlier held Grade C contracts, Yuvraj and Bumrah earned annual retainers after missing out in the previous season’s list.
Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu slipped down one spot, featuring in Grade C for the current season. As many as 17 players were named in Grade C including newcomers like Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant, among others.
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Suresh Raina was a notable exclusion from the list while Varun Aaron, Stuart Binny, Karn Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Mohit Sharma and Sreenath Aravind also missed out.
Grade A:AVirat Kohli, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Murali Vijay.
Grade B:ARohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuvraj Singh.
Grade C:AShikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Amit Mishra, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Ashish Nehra, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Parthiv Patel, Jayant Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shardul Thakur, Rishabh Pant.