Indian paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar was demoted from Grade A to Grade B contract in the Annual Player Contracts for Team India (Senior Men) for the period from October 2020 to September 2021. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the contracts on Thursday (April 15) with Bhuvneshwar in the salary grade of Rs 3 crore, down from Rs 5 crore.
The Uttar Pradesh paceman has been grappling with injuries over the last couple of years. He missed the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 and was then left out of the squad for Australia as well as England Test matches. His absence from Test cricket could be one of the reasons why Bhuvneshwar has been demoted to Grade B.
Bhuvneshwar won the ICC’s Player of the Month award for March 2021 for his impressive performances in India’s recently concluded series against England. He was the standout bowler on either side in the white-ball series and was chosen the winner for the month by fans and the ICC voting academy.
“After what seemed like a really long and painful gap, I was delighted to be playing for India again. I used the time away to work on my fitness and skill and I am happy to be back taking wickets for my country. I would like to thank each and every person who helped me in this journey starting from my family and friends and my teammates. Also, a special thank you to the ICC voting academy and all the fans who voted for me and made me the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for March,” Bhuvneshwar said about the ICC honour.
Apart from Bhuvneshwar, spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been demoted in the BCCI contracts. Kuldeep was among the core group of Grade A players in the 2019-20 contracts list, while Chahal featured in Grade B. Both have now dropped down to Grade C.
Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey, who have lost their place in India's white-ball squads over recent months, have dropped out of the contracts list.
BCCI Central Contracts for October 2020 to September 2021:
Grade A+: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
Grade A: Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant.
Grade B: Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Mayank Agarwal
Grade C: Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Mohammed Siraj.