The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has released the annual list of centrally contracted players for team India (Senior Women), a month after the announcement of the annual central contracts for the Indian Men’s team.
The new contracts announced by the BCCI will cover the period from October 2020 to September 2021. The current list has 19 players, which is three less than the previous year’s 22. The contracts have been classified into three categories namely Grade A, B and C. Players in the Grade A category will earn Rs 50 Lakh, followed by Rs 30 Lakh in Grade B and Rs 10 Lakh in Grade C.
While there have been certain changes in the contracts, the top grade remained unchanged with Indian T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, and spinner Poonam Yadav retaining their pay grade. The promising teenager Shafali Verma has made her way to Grade B from Grade C this year, along with her compatriots Punam Raut and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Varma was handed the first contract last year. Meanwhile, the likes of Veda Krishnamurthy, Ekta Bisht, Anuja Patil, and D Hemalatha are not included in this list.
There is still a big disparity between the contract terms of Men’s cricket and women’s cricket. BCCI is getting criticism after recent contract terms were revealed as president Sourav Ganguly had previously insisted that the board will be looking to improve women’s cricket in the country.
Meanwhile, the Indian women’s team has started arriving in Mumbai for their 14-day quarantine ahead of the tour of England. They will be playing one test match, three ODIs, and three T20Is during this tour. Certain players have received call-ups for their International duty, with Shafali Verma getting her maiden call-up for ODI and Test teams.
Indian Women’s Team Annual Contracts 2020-21
Grade A contracts: Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, and Poonam Yadav
Grade B contracts: Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia, and Jemimah Rodrigues.
Grade C contracts: Mansi Joshi, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia, and Richa Ghosh.