The BCCI, on Wednesday, announced the annual player contracts for the Women’s side for the 2020/21 season and the list saw Shafali Verma getting a promotion to Grade B from Grade C. The board cut down the number of players from 22 to 19, and awarded just 3 players a Grade A contract.
Shafali Verma, the number one T20I batter in the world, has been rewarded for her spectacular showing in international cricket as the 17-year-old, on Wednesday, was awarded a Grade ‘B’ contract (INR 30 lakh) by the BCCI for the 2020/21 season. Verma, for the 2019/20 season, had a Grade ‘C’ contract but the youngster’s stupendous rise in a short span of time has seen the board reward her with a Grade B contract, despite her, to date, having only featured in the shortest format of the game. Verma is not the only one rewarded by the board as both Punam Raut and Rajeshwari Gayakwad also received promotions, moving from C to B grade.
Verma, Raut and Gayakwad are three of 10 players in the B category, with Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia and Jemimah Rodrigues completing the list.
Despite there being changes in the second and third tiers, there is no movement in the top tier as the board, yet again, awarded just three players Grade A contracts. Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav, three players considered pillars of the national side, are the only ones who find themselves in the ‘A’ category and are also subsequently the highest-paid players, with them securing INR 50 lakh contracts.
Six players - Mansi Joshi, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia and Richa Ghosh - find themselves slotted in the third and final category, Grade C, and interestingly there is no place for Veda Krishnamurthy, who was recently left out of the tour to England. Barring Krishnamurthy, Anuja Patil, D Hemlatha and Ekta Bisht are also players who find themselves without contracts in the updated list, which has seen the board reduce the total number of contracted players from 22 to 19.
Grade A (INR 50 Lakh)
Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav
Grade B (INR 30 Lakh)
Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues
Grade C (INR 10 Lakh)
Mansi Joshi, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia, Richa Ghosh