Mithali Raj demoted to Grade B in central contracts

Mithali Raj demoted to Grade B in central contracts

While Mithali continues to be the team's batting mainstay in the ODIs, the demotion was pretty much on the cards.

Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India women team’s veteran cricketer Mithali Raj was on Thursday demoted to Grade B from Grade A as the BCCI announced the central contracts for both men and women’s teams. While Mithali continues to be the team’s batting mainstay in the ODIs, the demotion was pretty much on the cards since she brought down curtains on her T20I career in September last year.

She is now in Grade B bracket with fellow veteran Jhulan Goswami. While both the stars players have retired from T20Is, they remain pretty much in contention to play the 50-over World Cup next year, set to be held in New Zealand. Mithali and Jhulan had helped India make it to the final of the last World Cup and would be desperate to go one step better this time around.

Shafali Verma earns her maiden contract

15-year old batter Shafali Verma has earned her maiden central contract after hitting the ground running in international cricket. She impressed in last year’s T20 Challenge in May and made her international debut in September against South Africa. As of now, she has scored over 200 runs in nine games at a strike-rate of more than 142.

The highly-rated batted recently made 124 against Australia A in Brisbane. Hopes will be sky high from her when India visit Australia this year for the upcoming T20 World Cup in February-March. Along with Shafali, Harleen Deol and Priya Punia have also earned their maiden central contracts. Both the players have entered the central contracts at Grade C.

Meanwhile, T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur retained her A category contract alongside her deputy Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav. On the other hand, Radha Yadav and Taniya Bhatia were elevated to Grade B from Grade C. The only player who has been dropped from the central contract is Mona Meshram, who was in Grade C last year and hasn’t played game in recent times. The latest contracts run from October 2019 to September 2020.

Central contracts:

Grade A (Rs 50 lakh): Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav.

Grade B (Rs 30 lakh): Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma.

Grade C (Rs 10 lakh): Veda Krishnamurthy, Punam Raut, Anuja Patil, Mansi Joshi, D Hemlatha, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia, Shafali Verma.