The central contract is divided into four subcategories with A+ being the highest in precedence. A stunning show in 2018 has helped Rishabh Pant earn a Grade A contract he missed out last year. The youngster has established himself in the Test team after a string of impressive performances since making his debut on the tour of England. He had capped off his sojourn in stay with a stunning century in the final Test at the Kennington Oval. It was followed by two fifty-plus knocks against Windies at home before he all but secured his place in the Test side with a starring display in Australia.

He finished the four-match series down under as the second highest run-scorer behind Cheteshwar Pujara. The southpaw amassed 350 runs including the 159-run knock in Sydney, helping India win a historic series. Talking about the central contracts, Murali Vijay is a notable omission although it does not come as a surprise given his form last year. On the other hand,  Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan have been shifted from an A+ contract to A as the BCCI announced the annual player retainership for the year 2018-19.

The Pacers had played an important role in India’s fine performance in Tests last year and they have duly been rewarded. Along with Pant, the pace trio of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Kuldeep Yadav have been promoted from Grade B to A. Wriddhiman Saha has paid the price for missing most of last year’s action due to injury and has been dropped to C category along with Dinesh Karthik.

Ambati Rayudu, who returned to the ODI team last year, has received a Grade C contract along with newcomers Khaleel Ahmed and Hanuma Vihari. However, the likes of Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Parthiv Patel, and Jayant Yadav have been omitted from the list of centrally contracted players.

The central contract is divided into four subcategories with A+ being the highest in precedence. The A+ category, worth INR 7 crore, has three players this year – Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah. The A bracket, which is worth INR 5 crore,  has 11 players compared to seven last year. Grade B has four players while the last category Grade C has seven names.

Here is the list of contracted players:

Grade A+ (INR 7 Cr): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah

Grade A (INR 5 Cr): R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant

Grade B (INR 3 Cr): KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya

Grade C (INR 1 Cr): Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Khaleel Ahmed, Wriddhiman Saha.

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