Special Correspondent

33-player pool formed

Seven players in Grade A

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday raised the annual contract fee to top-end players by Rs. 10 lakh, formed a large pool of 33 players, creating an additional group and rewarded almost every member of the Indian team on the tour of England and South Africa.

This large group of contracted players would be expanded in the event of a non-contracted player being selected for a Test or One-Day International.

Promotions

He would be straightaway put in the low-end group (Grade D) and in the event of a Grade D player playing five Tests or 15 ODIs in the contractual period of 12 months (October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008), he would be promoted to Grade C.

“But he will be paid the retainership on a pro-rata basis,” said a BCCI release.

However, V.V.S. Laxman, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag have been placed in Group B, while Anil Kumble, who has retired from one-day cricket, has been awarded the top-end grade. The previous retainership was as follows: Grade A – Rs. 50 lakh, Grade `B’— Rs. 35 lakh and Grade C — Rs. 20 lakh.

India’s outstanding players in England and South Africa — Zaheer Khan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh have climbed to Grade A. They will receive a sum of Rs. 60 lakh as retainership.

Grade A (seven players, Rs. 60 lakh): Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Zaheer Khan.

Grade B (eight players, Rs. 40 lakh): V.V.S. Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Wasim Jaffer, S. Sreesanth, Dinesh Karthik, Rudra Pratap Singh and Virender Sehwag.

Grade C (seven players, Rs. 25 lakh): Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Ramesh Powar, Munaf Patel, Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla and Suresh Raina.

Grade D (11 players, Rs. 15 lakh): Rohit Sharma, Joginder Sharma, Manoj Tiwari, Ishant Sharma, Ranadeb Bose, Mohd. Kaif, Cheteshwar Pujara, Parthiv Patel, S. Badrinath, Akash Chopra and Yusuf Pathan.

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