Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma demoted in latest BCCI central contracts

Updated on Mar 02, 2022 11:11 PM IST

Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma were all demoted from A category to B in the latest list of contracts while the injury-ravaged Hardik Pandya was demoted to C. 

Pujara and Rahane were dropped from the Indian Test team. (AP)
Pujara and Rahane were dropped from the Indian Test team. (AP)

Veteran India batters Cheteshwar Pujara and former Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane have been downgraded in the latest list of central contracts that the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Apex Council on Wednesday. Pujara and Rahane were demoted from the A category, which as an annual remuneration of 7 crore, to the B category which is valued at 3 crore per annum. 

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Meanwhile, veteran wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha has been demoted to the C category with an annual remuneration of 1 crore. 

Last time, 28 cricketers were provided central contracts but this year, 27 have been awarded contracts with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah static as A players.

Accordingly, Pujara, Rahane and fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who were in Grade A are now in Grade B, after a slump in form that saw them being dropped from the upcoming home Test series against Sri Lanka.

Group A, which earlier had 10 players, has now shrunk to five with Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami retaining their slots.

The biggest demotion, however, was for injury-ravaged all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been shunted out from Grade A to C in the list along with senior opener Shikhar Dhawan, who now plays only one format and that is ODIs.

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav and pacer Navdeep Saini, who were part of the earlier group, have been dropped from the list altogether.

Mayank Agarwal has now been demoted to group C from group B. The ones who have been rewarded are Mohammed Siraj, who is now in group B while Suryakumar Yadav, by virtue of playing the requisite number of games, is now in group C.

Deepti, Rajeshwari promoted among women

In the women's Central contracts, Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad joined Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav who were already in group A which has an annual retainership fee of 50 lakh.

Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami remain in group B ( 30 lakh). The trio of Jemimah Rodrigues, Shikha Pandey and Punam Raut who couldn't make it to the ODI World Cup squad, was demoted from Group B to C ( 10 lakh).

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