After the declaration of the Women’s Coach for the next couple of years came through in Ramesh Powar last week, BCCI announced the list of centrally contracted Women Cricketers on Wednesday. 19 players were contracted by the BCCI for the term October 2020 to September 2021.
The 17-year old Richa Ghosh, earned her maiden central contract with the Indian team while the likes of Shefali Verma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, and Punam Raut earned an upgrade in contract from the last year. The three constants in the Indian side were made a part of the Grade B list with a salary of ₹30 Lakh.
Meanwhile, Indian T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, her deputy Smriti Mandhana, and Poonam Yadav all cherished an extension in their Grade A ₹50 Lakh contract. The veterans from the longer form of cricket – ODI and Test captain, Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami also continued to be a part of the Grade B list alongside the young and dynamic Jemimah Rodrigues, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatiya, and Deepti Sharma.
Mansi Joshi, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, and Priya Punia were signed for a Grade C contract with a salary of ₹ 10 Lakh. Four players from the last year’s list of 22 players were also dropped including Veda Krishnamurthy, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht, and Dayalan Hemlatha.
Here is the entire list of BCCI’s Centrally Contracted players for 2020-21:
Grade A (INR 50 lakhs): Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav
Grade B (INR 30 lakhs): Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues
Grade C (INR 10 lakhs): Mansi Joshi, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia, Richa Ghosh
India Women likely to play a Test against Australia later this year:
In another development, the Indian Women’s Cricket Team is also likely to play a Test in Australia later this year. The team, including all the centrally contracted players except for Mansi Joshi, will travel to England for India Women’s first Test in over 6 years before playing the white-ball leg. Amidst the excitement, the news of a possible Test down under has thrilled the fans to bits.
India was slated to travel down under this year as a part of the preparation for the ICC ODI World Cup in New Zealand in 2022. However, with the World Cup being postponed, the two cricket bodies have decided to reschedule the tour. Cricket Australia is likely to make an official announcement about the dates soon when they announce their schedule for the summer.
However, Women’s Test Cricket that has been a part of the discussion between BCCI and CA off-late is expected to be a part. “I can confirm that they will play one test as part of their tour to Australia in mid-September,” a BCCI source told Women’s Criczone. “Yes, this has been in the works since we started rescheduling the tour. We always want our women to play more Tests.”
Talking about the Women’s Tour of England starting 16th of June with a Test at Bristol, BCCI official further added, “The England tour is important. We want more cricket heading into the World Cup. 50-over cricket will increase more after the Australia tour.”