Mumbai, Nov 9: Batsman Ajinkya Rahane has been awarded Grade A contract by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for 2015-16 season. India's ODI and T20I captain MS Dhoni has retained his place in Grade A despite retiring from Test cricket. Suresh Raina has been demoted to Grade B.
On Monday (November 9), BCCI announced the list of centrally contracted players. Dhoni, Rahane, Test captain Virat Kohli and R Ashwin are in the 4 cricketers in Grade A (Rs 1 crore).
Paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was in Grade A last year, has been demoted to Grade B (Rs 50 lakh). Initially, BCCI had omitted Raina's name from all 3 categories. However, they corrected it later.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has made a comeback, this time into Grade C. He had failed to secure a contract for past 2 years.
For the first time, BCCI also announced central contracts for women cricketers. They are put in Grade A (Rs 15 lakh) and B (Rs 10 lakh).
The list of centrally contracted players by the BCCI for year 2015-16
Senior Men (2015-16)
Grade A (Rs 1 crore) - 4 (last year 5): MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane.
In: Rahane. Out: Suresh Raina, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Grade B (Rs 50 lakh) - 10 (last year 11): Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammad Shami.
In: Raina, Bhuvneshwar (both demoted from Grade A). Out: Pragyan Ojha, Ravindra Jadeja
Grade C (Rs 25 lakh) - 12 (last year 16): Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Stuart Binny, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, Dhawal Kulkarni, Harbhajan Singh, S Aravind.
In: Jadeja (demoted from Grade B), Harbhajan Singh, S Aravind. Out: R Vinay Kumar, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Sanju Samson, Manoj Tiwary, Parvez Rasool, Pankaj Singh
Senior Women (2015-16)
Grade A (Rs 15 lakh): Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, MD Thirushkamini.
Grade B (Rs 10 lakh): Smriti Mandana, Rajeswari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bist, Veda Krishnamurthy, Niranjana Nagarajan, Poonam Raut.
Note: If a player who is not in the list of contracted players plays a minimum of three matches Test/ODI/T20I, he or she will be added in Grade 'C'/Grade 'B', respectively.