Indian captain Virat Kohli, hitman Rohit Sharma and star pacer Jasprit Bumrah have been bunched in the top bracket by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the annual player retainership for 2018-19 announced late on Thursday night. The trio is in Group A+and will be paid Rs 7 crore for the period of October 2018 to September 2019.
The major gainer in the BCCI annual contract is the young wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, touted as the replacement for the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The 21-year-old Pant, who was not in last year's list, made an entry directly into Group A. He is there along with Dhoni and nine other players and will get an annual payment of Rs 5 crore.
But the big losers have been Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, both of who were unable to perform up to their potential and slipped from the Group A+ to Group A.
The men's list has 25 players compared to 26 in the last year's contract. The other two groups are Group B and Group C with their annual payment being Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore respectively.
There are two new entrants in the list - left-arm fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed and batsman Hanuma Vihari. Both have been kept in Group C along with five other players.
The criteria for getting the central contract is that a player should have played either three Test match or eight One Day International matches.
In the women's category, there are three groups - A, B and C. While players in Group A will be paid an annual retainership of Rs 50 lakh, those on Group B and C will get Rs 30 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively.
Group A+ (Rs 7 crore per annum): Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
Group A (Rs 5 crore per annum): Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Mohd. Shami, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav and Rishabh Pant.
Group B (Rs 3 crore per annum): KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya.
Group C (Rs 1 crore per annum): Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari, Khaleel Ahmed and Wriddhiman Saha.
Group A (Rs 50 lakh per annum): Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav.
Group B (Rs 30 lakh per annum): Ekta Bisht, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Deepti Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues.
Group C (Rs 10 lakh per annum): Radha Yadav, D Hemalatha, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut, Mona Meshram, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Taniya Bhatia and Pooja Vastrakar