New Central Contracts Out: Dhawan, Bhuvi Demoted, Pant in Grade A

BCCI contracts,BCCI central contracts,Shikhar Dhawan

BCCI contracts,BCCI central contracts,Shikhar Dhawan

Rishabh Pant is arguably India's most improved cricketer of late. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah are the three A+ category players, with Rs 7 crore each per annum.

Cheteshwar Pujara, despite his stupendous show in Australia, remains in the "A" category since he plays only the Test format.

In another big development, the A+ category, worth Rs 7 crore and which earlier had seven players, has been trimmed down to three.

Dhawan's contract being downgraded does not come as a surprise considering he is no longer a part of the Test set-up.

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Wicket-keeper batsman Pant, on the other hand, has been rewarded for his good show in Test cricket and has jumped directly into the A group after being ignored a year ago. The southpaw has been rewarded for his hundreds in England and Australia and he is ready to take on the mantle from Mahendra Singh Dhoni once he retires from limited overs.

Three players have also been promoted from grade B to A and hence, the A grade now has 11 players this year - fast bowlers of Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, along with wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav are now in the A bracket.

Hardik Pandya and K. L. Rahul continue to remain in B category. The others in the same category are leggie Yuzvendara Chahal and pacer Umesh Yadav. The BCCI announced the annual player retainership for 2018-19 on Thursday. As per the BCCI constitution, the ombudsman is the final authority to adjudicate on such issues. Maybe, this is a reason why Pandya didn't get a promotion despite being a regular in all three formats, when he is fit. The two notable omissions from the list are Prithvi Shaw and Vijay Shankar, both of whom have made a good start to their respective global careers. Shaw made his India debut with an effervescent Test century against West Indies a year ago and was part of the Test squad for the Australia tour, but was forced to return home due to a freak injury while fielding during the warm-up match. Poonam was the highest wicket-taker in T20Is in 2018, and the joint-highest wicket-taker in ODIs. In women's cricket, 20 players have been handed central contracts. She has moved up from category C (INR 10 lakh) into category B. She joins Ekta Bisht, Shikha Pandey and Deepti Sharma who have retained their places in the category.

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