BCCI Announce Indian Women’s Central Contracts: Full List
Shafali Verma moved up a notch while Ekta Bisht and Veda Krishnamurthy missed out on a national contract.
The BCCI released the central contracts for the Indian women’s cricket team for the season 2020-21. The value of the retainers remain unchanged, with those in Grade A, the highest bracket, taking home INR 50 lakh. Grade B and Grade C are valued at INR 30 lakh and INR 10 lakh respectively.
Seniors Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav have maintained their slots in the Grade A bracket, while Shafali Verma, the teenage batting sensation, has levelled up from Category C to B. The buccaneering opener recently earned her maiden ODI and Test call-up for the forthcoming tour to England.
The BCCI also rewarded Punam Raut for her glittering performances against South Africa in March this year as she scored a couple of half-centuries and her third ton in the limited-overs format. Raut has been upgraded from Grade C to B, while left-armer Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who proved a handful for the Protea batters, has made a similar ascend.
Speedster Shikha Pandey, who was surprisingly snubbed from the ODIs and T20Is against South Africa, has retained her Grade B contract. Richa Ghosh, who broke into the Indian team for the T20 World Cup in 2020 on the back of eye-catching performances in the U-19 setup and the Challenger Trophy, has been handed a Grade C contract. She is accompanied by Mansi Joshi, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, and Priya Punia in the third tier.
A notable absentee from the latest round of central contracts is Veda Krishnamurthy. She hasn't played the 50-over format for India since April 2018 and her last T20I appearance came in early 2020 at the T20 World Cup.
Anuja Patil, D Hemlatha and Ekta Bisht didn’t crack a contract either as the overall list was trimmed from 22 to 19 players. However, the exclusion of Bisht is particularly puzzling as the senior left-arm orthodox is a member of all three squads for India's upcoming tour of England.
Experienced campaigners Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, who no longer play the shortest format, have held onto the Grade B contract alongside youngsters Taniya Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav.
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