The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Thursday, released the central contract list for the Indian women's team. India's ODI skipper Mithali Raj was demoted to Grade B from A in the BCCI central contracts while Radha Yadav and Taniya Bhatia were promoted to Grade B.
BCCI's move to demote Mithali to Grade B (where she will now earn ₹30 lakh as compared to ₹50 lakh) doesn't come as a surprise since the 37-year-old retired from T20Is in September last year. However, she is still the ODI captain and plans to carry on till the 2021 World Cup.
T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur retained her Grade A contract alongside Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav. Radha and Taniya, who both had a Grade C contract worth ₹10 lakh last year, have now entered Grade B.
Meanwhile, 15-year-old opener Shafali Verma, Harleen Deol and Priya Punia are the new entrants who have been awarded a contract (Grade C) for the first time by the BCCI. The only player who didn't make the cut from the previous list was Mona Meshram.
Shafali Verma came into the limelight ever since she made her India debut last year. Shafali Verma played an outstanding inning of 124 against Australia A in Brisbane recently. Shafali Verma will be expected to carry her form forward in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. So far, the teenager has played nine T20Is, hitting 222 runs including two half-centuries at a strike rate of 142.30. Shafali Verma looks set to be India’s opener along with incumbent Smriti Mandhana in the upcoming T20 World Cup. This contract is valid from October 2019 to September 2020.
Grade A (₹50 lakhs):
Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav
Grade B (₹30 lakhs):
Shikha Pandey, Deepti Sharma, Mithali Raj, Ekta Bisht, Jhulan Goswami, Jemimah Rodrigues, Taniya Bhatia, Radha Yadav
Grade C (₹10 lakhs):
Mansi Joshi, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, D Hemalatha, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia, Punam Raut, Shafali Verma
IMAGE COURTESY: ICC TWITTER