Off spinner R Ashwin has replaced Harbhajan Singh in the Grade A level, the highest of the BCCI’s list of central contracts for 2012-13. BCCI has awarded central contracts to 37 players today. Comeback man Yuvraj Singh has also been retained in Grade A along with the sensational Virat Kohli. Grade A of the central contract also features the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina.
The players in Grade A are paid Rs. 1 crore each annually, while players in Grade B and C are earn Rs.50 lakh and Rs. 25 lakh respectively.
Along with Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma has also been placed in Grade B, while Praveen Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja lost their Grade B contracts for Grade C. Harbhajan and Ishant have spent the better part of this year out of the team struggling for form and has gone out of favor with both the selectors and the team management.
The Grade A features nine players this year, three less from that of the last season, according to a press release issued by the BCCI. In Grade B, the BCCI has offered contracts to eight players, three more than last season. Rohit Sharma has been the only one to have retained his contract in the Grade B level. The Pathan brothers, Irfan and Yusuf, who failed to gain contracts last year, have been given Grade B and Grade C contracts respectively for the year 2012-13. The upcoming stars such as Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav have also been elevated from Grade C to Grade B.
Laxmipathy Balaji managed a Grade C contract while S. Sreesanth’s contract has not been renewed. Ravindra Jadeja has replaced the Kerala pacer.
Grade A: Sachin Tendulkar, M S Dhoni, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin.
Grade B: Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav.
Grade C: Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Vinay Kumar, Munaf Patel, Abhimanyu Mithun, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha, Parthiv Patel, Manoj Tiwary, S Badrinath, Piyush Chawla, Dinesh Karthik, Rahul Sharma, Varun Aaron, Abhinav Mukund, Ashok Dinda, Yusuf Pathan, Praveen Kumar, L Balaji.