Mumbai, Oct 26: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday awarded offspinner R Ashwin Grade A contract for 2012-13 while veteran offspinner Harbhajan Singh has been demoted to Grade B in the annual contracts announced by the Indian cricket board.
BCCI has chosen 37 players for the annual retainerships divided into three categories. Grade A players will receive Rs 1 crore each while Grade B is for Rs 50 lakh and Grade C has Rs 25 lakhs.
Speedster S Sreesanth, who is out of the Indian team due to injury, now finds himself out of the contract list. Another left-arm paceman Jaidev Unadkat, who was in the list last year, is also axed. Bengal fast bowler Ashok Dinda is in Group C for the first time. Pathan brothers Irfan and Yusuf, Lakshmipathy Balaji have also returned.
Harbhajan, who had been sidelined for India selection for over a year before making a comeback to the Twenty20 team recently for New Zealand series and ICC World Twenty20 2012, now finds himself pushed down in the hierarchy of players in Indian cricket.
There are nine players in Grade A while eight are in Grade B and 20 in Grade C.
List of BCCI's retainerships for 2012-13
Grade A: Rs 1 crore each: 1. Sachin Tendulkar, 2. M S Dhoni, 3. Zaheer Khan, 4. Virender Sehwag, 5. Gautam Gambhir, 6. Suresh Raina, 7. Yuvraj Singh, 8. Virat Kohli, 9. R Ashwin
Grade B: Rs 50 lakhs each: 1. Harbhajan Singh, 2. Ishant Sharma, 3. Pragyan Ojha, 4. Rohit Sharma, 5. Cheteshwar Pujara, 6. Ajinkya Rahane, 7. Irfan Pathan, 8. Umesh Yadav
Grade C: Rs 25 lakhs each: 1. Ravindra Jadeja, 2. Amit Mishra, 3. Vinay Kumar, 4. Munaf Patel, 5. Abhimanyu Mithun, 6. Murali Vijay, 7. Shikhar Dhawan, 8. Wriddhiman Saha, 9. Parthiv Patel, 10. Manoj Tiwary, 11. S Badrinath, 12. Piyush Chawla, 13. Dinesh Karthik, 14. Rahul Sharma, 15. Varun Aaron, 16. Abhinav Mukund, 17. Ashok Dinda, 18. Yusuf Pathan, 19. Praveen Kumar, 20. L Balaji.