Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli, vice-captain Rohit Sharma, and pacer Jasprit Bumrah were the three cricketers to receive a lucrative ‘A+’ contracts as announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday.
Among other big-earners in the team was the 21-year-old Rishabh Pant, who has received a ‘Grade A’ contract, the wicketkeeper-batsman has been rewarded for his hundreds in England and Australia and he is ready to take on the mantle from Mahendra Singh Dhoni once he retires from limited overs. Whereas, the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan were demoted from A+ to grade A.
The A-plus category players get a yearly retainer fee of Rs 7 crore, while A category players get richer by Rs 5 crore.
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul continue to remain in B category. Cheteshwar Pujara despite his stupendous show in Australia remained in A category since he is only one format player.
Earlier, former India captain Sourav Ganguly backed veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni to continue after the upcoming ODI World Cup, saying if someone has talent “age is not a factor”. With the World Cup around the corner, people have been predicting the showpiece event to be Dhoni’s last international outing but Ganguly thinks otherwise.
“Dhoni can continue after the World Cup. If India wins the Cup and Dhoni performs consistently then why should he retire? Age is never a factor if the talent is there,” Ganguly was quoted by PTI.
Grade A+ (Rs 7 Cr): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Grade A (Rs 5 Cr): R Ashwin, Ra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant
Grade B (Rs 3 Cr): KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya
Grade C (Rs 1 Cr): Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Khaleel Ahmed, Wriddhiman Saha
Grade A (Rs 50 Lakhs): Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam yadav
Grade B (Rs 30 Lakhs): Ekta Bisht, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues
Grade C (Rs 10 Lakhs): Radha Yadav, D Hemalatha, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut, Mona Meshram, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Taniya Bhatia, Pooja Vastrakar
(With Inputs from PTI)