Karthik in Grade C of BCCI contracts, Zaheer earns B

Published: Monday, August 20, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai: Wicket-keeper turned opening batsman Dinesh Karthik has qualified for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI's) central contract.

The BCCI's Finance Committee met here and took note of Kaarthick's eligibility and recommended to put him in Grade 'C' of the three-tier contract system that entitles him to an annual retainer of Rs 20 lakh, according to BCCI sources.

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The Tamil Nadu player, who was the highest scorer for India in the recently concluded three-Test series in England with 263 runs under his belt, met the qualification criteria of having played five Tests or 15 ODIs in a season during the course of the rubber.

Left-arm pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, the man of the series with his incisive swing bowling that fetched him 18 wickets, was upgraded from Grade 'C' to 'B' and could leapfrog to the top-most tier, Grade 'A', if he continues with his impressive show, sources added.

Grade 'B' players get Rs 35 lakh annually while Grade 'A' players take home Rs 50 lakh as annual retainers.

The BCCI's Working Committee had decided to stop graded retainer payments in the aftermath of the team's World Cup debacle earlier this year but had to put this decision on hold with the players not signing the new contract.

But with a turnaround in the team's fortunes with back-to-back series victories in Bangladesh and England, it remains to be seen whether the BCCI will stick to its earlier stand or continue with graded contracts for the new season starting Oct 1.


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