All-rounder Deepti Sharma and spin bowler Rajeshwari Gayakwad are set to be promoted to Grade A in the central contracts for women’s cricketers for the 2021-22 season.
For women cricketers, the BCCI has three categories — Grade A, which have remuneration of Rs 50 lakh while B and C categories are valued at Rs 30 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.
The 24-year Sharma has shown good form in the recent and she merited promotion. Same way, the 30-year old Gayakwad from Karnataka gets the top grade in the contracts list. The likes of Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav are also in Grade A.
At the Wednesday’s Apex Council meeting, the BCCI finalised 17 players for the annual contracts, with Sneh Rana becoming a new entrant, earning Grade C on the basis of consistent performances since making a comeback last June following five years on the sidelines. On the other hand, Pooja Vastrakar, who was in Grade C last year, is also set to get promoted to the B category, a Cricbuzz report said.
Notably, Vastrakar has been consistently good for India as an allrounder and has particularly taken to the role of the finisher since making a comeback.
Meanwhile, veterans Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami retain their positions in Grade B but Jemimah Rodrigues and Shikha Pandey, who were left out from the World Cup squad, have been downgraded to Grade C from B.
Mansi Joshi and Radha Yadav, who were part of last year’s 19-player contracts list, don’t feature this time.
This is going to be an important year for women’s cricket with the 50-over World Cup starting in New Zealand on March 4 and BCCI also contemplating to start the women’s IPL soon. The Governing Council of the Indian Premier League (IPL) recently discussed hosting the women’s tournament and if all goes according to plan, the BCCI could start the women’s IPL next year.
Women’s Central Contracts:
Grade A (Rs 50 lakh): Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav, Deepti Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Grade B (Rs 30 lakh): Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Tanya Bhatia, Shafali Verma, Pooja Vastrakar
Grade C (Rs 10 lakh): Poonam Raut, Shikha Pandey, Jemimah Rodrigues, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Arundhati Reddy, Sneh Rana