Batsman Suresh Raina and pacer S Sreesanth have been rewarded for their superb performances at the international level by the Indian cricket board with offers of annual contracts.
Board secretary Niranjan Shah announced on Thursday that Uttar Pradesh's Raina and Kerala's Sreesanth, who have played 15 one-day internationals each since Oct 1 when the contracts came into force, have been offered Group C contracts, the lowest of the three categories, which entitles them to an annual retainer of Rs.2 million each.
Raina, 19, and Sreesanth, 23, thus join 15 others who were given contracts last year.
If non-contracted players play five Tests or 15 one-dayers between Oct 1 and Sep 30, they automatically get absorbed in Grade C as per the board rules and are paid retainer for the remaining period of the contract on pro-rata basis.
The contracted players are paid match fees separately.
Raina has made 412 runs at an average of 37.45 in 21 one-dayers since making his debut against Sri Lanka in Dambulla in July last year.
Sreesanth made his debut against Sri Lanka in Nagpur in October and has since taken 22 wickets in 15 matches.
His fine performance also won him a Test cap and he has now played two Tests, both against England, taking nine wickets with good speed, movement and a lot of aggression.
The players contracted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India are:
Grade A (Rs.5 million retainer): Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan.
Grade B (Rs.3.5 million): Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Ajit Agarkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Grade C (Rs.2 million): Murali Karthik, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, Suresh Raina and S. Sreesanth.