Dhoni retains Grade A spot, Raina demoted to category B

The BCCI announced the list of contractual players and their grade at their AGM in Mumbai on Monday. Indian limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was retained in Group A of the men’s player contracts for 2015-16. The other players who were included in the top-level contract, worth Rs.1 crore per annum, were Test captain Virat Kohli, leading off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who has been upgraded from Group B.

Raina (left) has been demoted to category B, which is worth Rs. 50 lakh annually. Dhoni's annual package is worth Rs. 1 crore.   -  V. Ganesan

The BCCI announced the list of contractual players and their grade at their AGM in Mumbai on Monday.

Indian limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was retained in Group A of the men’s player contracts for 2015-16.

The other players who were included in the top-level contract, worth Rs.1 crore per annum, were Test captain Virat Kohli, leading off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who has been upgraded from Group B.

Slipping down to B category, worth Rs. 50 lakh annually, was batsman Suresh Raina, whose name was inadvertently omitted on the BCCI’s website before the Board issued a clarification.

Senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was not in the contracted player-list last season, gained a spot in Grade C after being recalled to the Indian squad by the national selectors.

As compared to 2014-15, when 32 players were given contracts, only 26 got the nod for this season.

For the first time, the BCCI offered contracts to women players, splitting them into two groups A and B worth Rs. 15 and 10 lakh annually respectively and eleven players made the grade.

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’, accordingly, the BCCI announced.

The list of contracted players:

Senior men:

Grade A: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane.

Grade B: Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammad Shami and Suresh Raina.

Grade C: Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Stuart Binny, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Lokesh Rahul, Dhawal Kulkarni, Harbhajan Singh and Sreenath Arvind.

Senior women:

Grade A: Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur and MD Thirushkamini.

Grade B: Smriti Mandana, Rajeswari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bist, Veda Krishnamurthy, Niranjana Nagarajan and Poonam Raut.

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