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Cricket news - Pant earns Grade A central contract

After missing out on a contract last year, Pant finds himself bumped up to A category.

Rishabh Pant has been awarded a Grade A contract after missing out on a contract last year. Murali Vijay, who had an A contract last year, is without one for the upcoming season. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan have been shifted from an A+ contract to A. These were some of the major decisions taken by the BCCI's Committee of Administrators (CoA) as they announced the annual player retainership for the year 2018-19.

The contracts indicate the progress that players have made over the last year, which saw some favourable results for India in the Test format driven by the pace attack. Pant joins the trio of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav who have been moved up from Grade B to A this time around. Wriddhiman Saha, who missed a large part of the year due to injury, sees himself drop down two categories to C this time around while Dinesh Karthik too drops by one category to C.

Ambati Rayudu, who has cemented a spot in the ODI framework gets a Grade C contract after missing out in the previous cycle. The likes of Khaleel Ahmed and Hanuma Vihari have earned a Grade C contract for the first time while Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Parthiv Patel and Jayant Yadav who all had contracts in the previous cycle have been left out of the current one.

Grade A+ (INR 7 Cr): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah

Grade A (INR 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 (INR 3 Cr): KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya

Grade C (INR 1 Cr): Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Khaleel Ahmed, Wriddhiman Saha

Women's Contracts

Poonam Yadav has earned herself a Grade A contract while Jhulan Goswami, who retired from T20Is before the Sri Lanka series late last year, has been moved to Grade B. Jemimah Rodrigues makes a move up to Grade B, while Veda Krishnamurthy and Rajeshwari Gaekwad have dropped from Grade B to C.

All-rounders Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy and D Hemalatha have been awarded a Grade C contract for the first time, while out-of-favour wicketkeepers Sushma Verma and Nuzhat Parveen have dropped out of the list of centrally contracted players.

Grade A (INR 50 Lakhs): Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam yadav

Grade B (INR 30 Lakhs): Ekta Bisht, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues

Grade C (INR 10 Lakhs): Radha Yadav, D Hemalatha, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut, Mona Meshram, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Taniya Bhatia, Pooja Vastrakar

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