New Delhi, Jan 16: Veteran Indian women's cricketer Mithali Raj was on Thursday (January 16) demoted to Grade B from A in the BCCI central contracts while Radha Yadav and Taniya Bhatia were elevated to the middle bracket.
Mithali not being kept in the Rs 50 lakh category was expected as the 37-year-old retired from T20s in September last year. However, she remains the ODI captain and plans to carry on till the 2021 World Cup.
Meanwhile, T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur retained his A category contract alongside Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav.
Radha and Taniya, who both had a Grade C contract worth Rs 10 lakh last year, have now entered Grade B (Rs 30 lakh). Players getting a central contract for the first time are 15-year-old opener Shafali Verma and Harleen Deol, who like the teenager is an attacking batter.
Shafali has attracted a lot of attention ever since making her India debut last year. She recently made 124 against Australia A in Brisbane. The opener will be expected to deliver in the upcoming T20 World Cup Down Under. Dropped from the list is Mona Meshram, who was in Grade C last year and hasn't played a single game in recent times. The latest contracts run from October 2019 to September 2020.
Grade A (Rs 50 lakh): Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav.
Grade B (Rs 30 lakh): Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma.
Grade C (Rs 10 lakh): Veda Krishnamurthy, Punam Raut, Anuja Patil, Mansi Joshi, D Hemlatha, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia, Shafali Verma.
Source: PTI & BCCI