Indian limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was today retained in Group A of the men’s player contracts for 2015-16 by the BCCI.
The other players who were included in the top-level contract worth Rupees one crore per annum, were Test captain Virat Kohli, leading off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who has been upgraded from Group B. Slipping down to B category, worth Rs 50 lakh annually, was batsman Suresh Raina, whose name was inadvertently omitted on the BCCI’s website before the Board issued a clarification.
Senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was not in the contracted player-list last season, gained a spot in Grade C after being recalled to the Indian squad by the national selectors. As compared to 2014-15, when 32 players were given contracts, only 26 got the nod for this season. For the first time, the BCCI offered contracts to women players, splitting them into two groups A and B worth Rs 15 and 10 lakh annually respectively and eleven players made the grade.
If a player, who is not in the list of contracted players, plays a minimum of three matches Test/ODI/T20I, he or she will be added in Grade ‘C’/Grade ‘B’, respectively, the BCCI announced. The list of contracted players:
Grade A (4) (Rs One Crore): Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane (4) Grade B (10) (Rs 50 lakhs): Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammad Shami, Suresh Raina Grade C (12) (Rs 25 lakhs): Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Stuart Binny, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Lokesh Rahul, Dhawal Kulkarni, Harbhajan Singh, Sreenath Arvind.
Grade A (4) (Rs 15 lakhs): Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, MD Thirushkamini.
Grade B (7) (Rs 10 lakhs): Smriti Mandana, Rajeswari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bist, Veda Krishnamurthy, Niranjana Nagarajan, Poonam Raut.