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Ashwin the new A-lister

R Ashwin has trumped Harbhajan Singh yet again. While the Tamil Nadu off-spinner has been promoted to Grade 'A' in the BCCI's annual contracts, Harbhajan has slipped to Grade 'B'.

cricket Updated: Oct 26, 2012 23:21 IST
HT Correspondent

R Ashwin has trumped Harbhajan Singh yet again. While the Tamil Nadu off-spinner has been promoted to Grade 'A' in the BCCI's annual contracts, Harbhajan has slipped to Grade 'B'.

The development is hardly surprising as Harbhajan has been out of the national squad, save for his appearance in the WorldT20, for some time now. Ashwin, on the other hand, has established himself as India's premier spinner in the meantime. Apart from Harbhajan, Ishant Sharma is the other player to slip into Grade 'B' from Grade 'A'.

Those promoted to Grade 'B' are Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Irfan Pathan and Umesh Yadav. While Pujara has stepped into the No 3 Test slot after Rahul Dravid's retirement, Rahane is likely to play a major role in the coming season. Pathan and Yadav have been rewarded for their impressive showings.

Owing to poor form, Ravindra Jadeja finds himself in Grade C. Out of favour Praveen Kumar too slips into Grade 'C'. While Jaydev Unadkat and S Sreesanth have been dropped from the list, Yusuf Pathan and Laxmipathy Balaji make a return with Grade C contracts.