The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to promote Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad to Grade A in the central contracts for women cricketers for the 2021-22 season.
24-year-old all-rounder Deepti Sharma has been in excellent form and has been promoted. Similarly, Gayakwad (30) from Karnataka receives the highest grade in the contracts list, with Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Poonam Yadav also receiving Grade A with an annual allocation of INR 50 lakh. Grade B and Grade C players would be paid INR 30 lakh and INR 10 lakh per year, respectively.
The BCCI finalised 17 players for the yearly contracts at its Apex Council meeting on Wednesday, with Sneh Rana (28) making the list with Grade C and Pooja Vastrakar, who was in Grade C last year, being promoted to the B category.
Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami remain in Grade B, while Jemimah Rodrigues and Shikha Pandey, who was left out of the World Cup squad, have been demoted to Grade C from Grade B. Furthermore, Sneh Rana has received a Grade C for her regular efforts after her comeback in June last year. Mansi Joshi and Radha Yadav, who were on the 19-player contract list last year, have missed out on this year’s roster.
With the 50-over World Cup beginning on March 4 in New Zealand, this is a significant year for women’s cricket. The BCCI is also considering launching a women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) next year, which was recently addressed in the IPL Governing Council.
Women’s Central Contracts:
Grade A (INR 50 lakh): Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav, Deepti Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Grade B (INR 30 lakh): Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Tanya Bhatia, Shafali Verma, Pooja Vastrakar
Grade C (INR 10 lakh): Poonam Raut, Shikha Pandey, Jemimah Rodrigues, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Arundhati Reddy, Sneh Rana