BCCI upgrades Ajinkya Rahane, demotes Suresh Raina

Struggling middle-order batsman Suresh Raina was downgraded to Grade B in the new Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) centrally contracted players for year 2015-16, while batsman Ajinkya Rahane was rewarded for his recent performance with promotion to Grade A on Monday

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

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

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane

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.

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', respectively, the BCCI announced.

Suresh RainaSuresh Raina

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said India women cricketers were brought under contract for the first time and will be divided into two grades A and B with salary of Rs.15 lakh and Rs.10 lakh annually.

"I am happy to announce that India women cricketers were brought under contract for the first time and will be divided into two grades," Thakur said.

The list of contracted players: 

Senior men:

Grade A (4) (Rs One Crore): Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahan (4) 

Grade B (10) (Rs 50 lakhs): Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammad Shami, Suresh Raina 

Grade C (12) (Rs 25 lakhs): Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Stuart Binny, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Lokesh Rahul, Dhawal Kulkarni, Harbhajan Singh, Sreenath Arvind.

Senior women:

Grade A (4) (Rs 15 lakhs): Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, MD Thirushkamini.

Grade B (7) (Rs 10 lakhs): Smriti Mandana, Rajeswari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bist, Veda Krishnamurthy, Niranjana Nagarajan, Poonam Raut.

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