Harbhajan also out of the list; Raina retains Grade A contract
The Board of Control for Cricket in India awarded contracts to 25 players for the 2013-14 season, but there was no room in the list for Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh.
In a list that was trimmed to 25 players from last year’s 37, Suresh Raina, who last played a Test match for India against New Zealand in August 2012, retained his Grade A contract.
Zaheer and Sehwag were both in the Grade A list last year, while Harbhajan was in Grade B. Zaheer hasn’t featured in the India squad since December 2012 while Virender Sehwag last played in a Test match against Australia in March 2013.
Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, who were also offered Grade A contracts last year, were downgraded to Grade B this year. Yuvraj made a comeback to India’s playing XI in the One-Day Internationals against Australia. While he was named Man of the Match in the lone Twenty20 International in Rajkot for his unbeaten 77, he managed to score only 19 runs in four innings in the the ODIs.
The number of players in Grade A was down to five from last year’s nine with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, R Ashwin and Virat Kohli retaining their positions, along with Raina as did Sachin Tendulkar.
Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja and Murali Vijay were the only three players whose contracts were upgraded from last year. All three earned the Grade B contract after impressive performances throughout the season. Dhawan scored a century on Test debut against Australia while Vijay hit big tons on two occasions in the same series earlier this year. Dhawan then carried his good form into the 50-over format, finishing as the leading run-scorer in the ICC Champions Trophy in June with 363 runs in five innings, including two centuries. Jadeja has delivered consistent all-round performances through the year and is currently the only Indian in the ICC ODI Rankings for allrounders at No. 5.
Ajinkya Rahane was the only player who was downgraded from Grade B to Grade C, which was drastically reduced by 11 players.
Irfan Pathan, Parthiv Patel and Piyush Chawla were among the other players that missed out on the annual contract.
If a player who doesn’t figure in the list of contracted players represents India in a Test match, One-Day International or Twenty20 International during the season, he will be placed in Grade C.
The contracts run from October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014.
Grade A (Rs 1 crore): Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Suresh Raina
Grade B (Rs 50 lakh): Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rohit Sharma.
Grade C (Rs. 25 lakh): Dinesh Karthik, Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, R Vinay Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma.