Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina, who were dropped from the upcoming Test series against the West Indies for their poor showing on the England tour, have been retained in Grade A along with Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman. They all will continue to get the Rs.1 crore retainership.
Impressive perfomers in the series against England, batsman Ajinkya Rahane and speedster Varun Aaron have been given Grade C contracts.
Munaf Patel, Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha, Parthiv Patel, S. Badrinath, Manoj Tiwary, Piyush Chawla, Dinesh Karthik, Jaydev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav, Rahul Sharma and Abhinav Mukund were also given Grade C contracts.
Mukund's name was missing from the original list issued after the board meeting, but later in the evening the BCCI in a statement said: 'Abhinav Mukund's name was missing from the list of the players contracted by the BCCI for the 2011-12 season, sent earlier today (Saturday). Mukund is in Grade C.'
Opening batsman Murali Vijay has dropped to Grade C from B and left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra, who has not played since his injury in the World Cup semifinal against Pakistan, is the only player from the previous list to miss out on a contract.
The number of cricketers, who made the grades approved by the Board of Control for Cricket in India at its working committee meeting Saturday, has inncreased from 24 to 36 (Grade A-12, Grade B-5, Grade-C 19).
Players graded for 2011-12 season:
Grade A (Rs.1 crore): Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, V.V.S. Laxman, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma, Virat Kohli.
Grade B (Rs.50 lakh): Praveen Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja.
Grade C (Rs.25 lakh): Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Amit Mishra, Cheteshwar Pujara, Abhimanyu Mithun, Vinay Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Munaf Patel, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha, Parthiv Patel, S Badrinath, Manoj Tiwary, Piyush Chawla, Dinesh Karthik, Jaydev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav, Rahul Sharma, Varun Aaron, Abhinav Mukund.