In a major blow, veteran India batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane and all-rounder Hardik Pandya were demoted in the latest central contracts list of the BCCI that was ratified by the Board's Apex Council on Wednesday.The BCCI has four categories - A+ which have annual remuneration of Rs 7 crore while A, B and C categories are valued at Rs 5 crore, Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore respectively.Both Rahane and Pujara had produced underwhelming performances in the last season and were eventually dropped from the India's Test squad. As a result, they have been downgraded from Grade A to Grade B in the latest central contracts list.Meanwhile, Indian captain Rohit Sharma, former skipper Virat Kohli and pace-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah are the three players in A+ category, as per sources.On the other hand, injured Hardik Pandya, who has not played for India since the 2021 T20 World Cup, has been dropped from A category to C category. Similarly, opener Shikhar Dhawan, who presently is considered for ODIs only by the team management, has been demoted from A category to C as well.Wicket-keeper batter Wriddhiman Saha, who was recently involved in an off-field controversy after being dropped from India's Test side for the home Test series against Sri Lanka, has been demoted from B category to C category.Pacer Navdeep Saini and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav have been excluded from the list. Earlier, they were in the C category.
Full list of players in each category -
A+ category - Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah
A category - Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant
B category - Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Siraj, Ishant Sharma
C category - Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Yuzvendra Chahal, Suryakumar Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Mayank Agarwal