India news November 14, 2013

No central contract for Zaheer, Sehwag

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh find themselves out of a central contract for the 2013-14 season, while Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh find themselves downgraded in the BCCI's retainer list, released on Thursday.

Suresh Raina is the surprise inclusion among the five players in the highest grade; the others are captain MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, R Ashwin and Virat Kohli.

The list also features five players who were not rewarded with a contract last year. They are Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Grade B), Mohammed Shami, Ambati Rayudu, Jaydev Unadkat and Mohit Sharma (all in Group C).

While Zaheer and Sehwag featured in Grade A last year, Harbhajan was included in Grade B. ESPNcricinfo understands that they were axed because none of them is assured of a place in the team in any of the three formats. Their exclusion need not, however, be the end of their career, because BCCI rules say that any non-contracted player who features in any international match during the contract period is awarded a Grade C contract for the rest of the tenure.

Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan and M Vijay have been upgraded from Grade C to B for their "exceptional" performance in the last contract cycle, while Rahane's demotion on the reverse route was due to the fact that he has failed to make most of his limited opportunities.

Tendulkar's mention in Grade A may have raised quite a few eyebrows since the veteran batsman is making his last international appearance during India's second Test against the West Indies. However, since the annual retainers are awarded on a pro-rata basis, Tendulkar would be eligible for two months' compensation since the beginning of the retainer cycle in October. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman were also named in the top category and were paid proportionately during the 2011-12 cycle.

The list has been pruned from 37 last season to 25, the BCCI's rationale apparently being that many players had started taking an annual retainer for granted. "The list was extended last year in order to give fringe players the confidence. But now the Board feels only those who are in line of an India call-up should be awarded an annual retainer," a Board official said.

The contracts, decided by a three-member committee of the BCCI comprising president (N Srinivasan), secretary (Sanjay Patel) and chairman of selectors (Sandeep Patil), run from October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on December 23, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    zaheer should get the chance to play and his guidance is more important for young bowlers. If not given chance to play India will miss a golden opportunity for next generation bowlers.

  • Ezhil on November 20, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    I hope thats is a fair decision by BCCI, dono y der is lot of fuss about Raina, when compared to ishant , vinay to b in grade b... he cud b in GradeA... He has been playing in all formats round the clock..And he has been playing at no 6 or 7 all the time and ask to up the run rate, obviously he has to hit or get out... with such expectation he avgs around 36.. which is far better to a batsmen at no.6 r 7.... and he shines well in t20 and ranks amongst the top 10 from the time t20 ranking ws introduced... i believe he deserves to b in grade A... tats y he s been pushed up the order by dhoni,, he needs time to develop in those positions given few chances to bat up the order and criticizing such is nt fair,,,,,

  • Dummy4 on November 19, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    again! Zaheer khan deserves a spot in the team in ODIs and Tests if not T20s! hes much better than Ishant and Vinay! Zaheer and Shami along with Bhuvneshwar can make up a lethal bowing attack! What part of that do the selectors don't understand! and Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will only foster under Zaheer's guidance!

  • Sriram on November 19, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    Yuvi should stick to T20 for the rest of his career? Same for Bhajji? And how long is it before Viru calls it a day. He may still be a hot property amongst global T20 franchises

  • Android on November 16, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    could n' t understand why zaheer is not awarded the contract he will lead your bowling attack in upcoming test matches

  • suresh kumar on November 16, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    very simple why raina got A. Shorter formats generate revenue, raina is better than pujara in shorter formats so included in grade A. Truth sometimes bitterness, people love shorter format that much.

  • YOGENDRA on November 15, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Australian and UK contracts are in millions, why indian contracts are only $158,000?

  • Ashok on November 15, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    @SriniDeva: You say Raina is 8 years old whilst Pujara is just 2 years Old! Is that the basis for inclusion in Grade A? Grade A is for deserving top notch Cricketers in India based on their form & performance. Pujara may be only "2 years Old" but he has scored 5 Centuries & 8 fifties in just 15 Test matches with an average of 65 - an unparalleled feat by any Indian! If Meritocracy is to be honoured here is a top notch Cricketer with very little backing who despite his outstanding record has been "left behind". I have always backed the deserving Cricketers & I still rate Pujara as the Best Test batsman in India today. He should be at the top of Grade A players ahead of other 4. I don't know why SRT's name appears amongst 5 named, when he has already announces his retirement.

  • ROHITH on November 15, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    honestley i dont understand people complaining about the inclusion of raina in grade A saying he is not a part of test team. They need to understand that he is not entering into grade A this year.He has been in grade A for 3 years now ie from 2010 and remember he was dropped from the test team in 2011 after the england series.You have to look at the important point yuvi viru gambhir was all been part of grade A before along with raina. and they have been dropped from the team at various points this year and raina hasn't been dropped for the last 5 years from the odi and t20 team. And all of those who have made upward or downward movements have had a change in position in the team while raina hasn't. remember all these years yuvraj was in grade A while he was only playing ODI for india. look at all others sehwag,gambhir ,harbhajan and zaheer have all been dropped from indian team in all forms of the game. raina is also a senior player like them and desrves to be in grade A.

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2013, 14:33 GMT


    Not so sure. Pujara does not play in all three formats, whereas Raina is part of all three formats. Thats one consideration for the grade level. I am sure that Pujara/Rohit will get upraged to A the next time around.