BCCI central contracts: Jadeja promoted to the top; Rahul demoted
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the central contracts for the 2022-23 season. While all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Hardik Pandya made gains, KL Rahul and Shardul Thakur were demoted. Several players like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, and Hanuma Vihari were entirely left out. Meanwhile, some received their maiden contracts. Here are the key highlights.
Why does this story matter?
- The central contracts are provided based on players' performances in the past season.
- There are four groups in the BCCI's contract list. Players in the 'A+' category receive Rs. 7 crore for the season. 'A' players get Rs. 5 crore.
- Players in the 'B' and 'C' categories get Rs. 3 and 1 crore, respectively.
- The BCCI, on March 26, announced the latest contracts.
Massive gain for Hardik
Hardik is the only player to move up two grades in the central contract as he has been promoted to Grade A from Grade C. The past year witnessed Hardik's resurgence. After a memorable IPL 2022 season, he made his comeback to the national team and hasn't looked back since then. The all-rounder is also now the vice-captain of India's white-ball teams.
Jadeja, Axar go up
Left-arm-spin-bowling all-rounders Jadeja and Axar have also made significant gains. The former moved up from Grade A to Grade A+, joining Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah in the category. Axar moved from Grade C to Grade A. Both all-rounders have enjoyed a terrific run in the past year across all formats. Suryakumar Yadav and Shubman Gill were also promoted to Grade A.
Demotion for KL Rahul
KL Rahul, who has endured a lean run in recent times, was demoted to Grade C from Grade A. Notably, the dasher was sacked as the vice-captain of the Test team midway through the recently-concluded series versus Australia. Gill replaced him in the XI for the final two Tests. Earlier, Hardik replaced him as the vice-captain of India's white-ball teams.
Who are the first-time inclusions?
Rising stars Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, KS Bharat, and Arshdeep Singh were awarded central contracts for the first time. These names put up some notable performances in India colors in the past year. Kuldeep Yadav also got his contract back and is in Grade C. Meanwhile, despite getting dropped from the ODI team, Shikhar Dhawan has retained his Grade C contract.
Who all have been left out?
Ajinkya Rahane, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Deepak Chahar, and Hanuma Vihari have been left out of the central contracts. While Rahane, Saha, and Ishant seem no longer a part of India's Test team plans, Vihari has gone down in the pecking order. Bhuvneshwar hasn't played for India since the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup. Injuries have kept Chahar on the sidelines.
BCCI Central Contracts 2022-23
Grade A+: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja. Grade A: Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel. Grade B: Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Siraj, Suryakumar Yadav, Shubman Gill. Grade C: Umesh Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan, Shardul Thakur, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Arshdeep Singh, KS Bharat.