Putting an end to long-drawn negotiations on the contentious contracts issue, the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Thursday announced enhanced annual retainership amounts for a pool of 33 players, with top grade cricketers being granted a whopping Rs 60 lakh each.
Having already showered the Twenty20 World Cup-winning team with hefty cash incentives, the Board carried its magnamity onto the central contracts as well by increasing the retainership amount in the existing three categories while also introducing a fourth grade.
Paceman Zaheer Khan is the lone new name in the elite Grade A, which will get Rs 60 lakh as retainership, an increase of Rs 10 lakh from the earlier contract.
In a statement, the BCCI also said the C K Nayudu Awards Committee, comprising Sharad Pawar, I S Bindra, M A K Pataudi, Prabhash Joshi and Niranjan Shah, unanimously nominated former India captain Nari Contractor for the C K Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for 2006-2007. The award consists of a trophy, citation and Rs 15 lakh. The award ceremony will be held in November.
Following are the retainership grades from October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008.
Grade 'A' [Rs. 60 lakh]: Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Zaheer Khan.
Grade 'B' [Rs 40 lakh]: V V S Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Wasim Jaffer, S Sreesanth, Dinesh Kartik, R.P.Singh, Virender Sehwag.
Grade 'C' [Rs 25 lakh]: Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Ramesh Powar, Munaf Patel, Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, Suresh Raina.
Grade 'D' [Rs 15 lakh]: Rohit Sharma, Joginder Sharma, Manoj Tiwari, Ishant Sharma, Ranadeb Bose, Mohd. Kaif, Cheteshwar Pujara, Parthiv Patel, S Badrinath, Akash Chopra, Yusuf Pathan.
A player who is not offered a retainership and selected to play for India in Test or One-Day Internationals will be placed in Grade 'D'.
If a player in Grade 'D' plays five Tests or 15 ODIs in a year he will be placed in Grade 'C' from that date and be paid retainership on pro rata basis.