Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma Likely to Lose Central Contracts; Promotion to Surya, Shubman: Report

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to remove the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Ishant Sharma from its central contract list. On the other hand, batters Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav are set to be included in the list when it gets finalised at the board’s Apex Council meeting, scheduled to be held on December 21.

According to news agency PTI, all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who currently features in Group C, is likely to get promoted to Group B. It has also been learned that Rahane and Ishant will be axed from the fresh list. At the same time, wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha will also be removed from the list as he was specifically told at the start of the year that he won’t be selected for India again.

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An A+ contracts offers Rs 7 crore, Group A Rs 5 crore, Group B Rs 3 crore and Rs Group C offers Rs 1 to the cricketers. There are multiple metrics used by the BCCI in consultation with national selectors to determine the gradation system.

A+ and A are two categories where the players are either all-format regulars or at least certainty in Tests along with one of the two white-ball formats. To be in Group B, a cricketer has to play at least two formats while group C is primarily for single-format players. Also, one needs to play a specific number of international games (per format) to for inclusion in the list. The promotion however is performance-based and ICC ranking is also taken into consideration.

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“Surya was in Group C but his performance in the last one year warrants a promotion to Group B at least, if not A. He is currently world No. 1 in T20I ICC rankings and is a serious contender in ODI team also,” a senior official was quoted as saying by the agency.

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Gill, who is now a two-format regular (Tests and ODIs) can expect a promotion from Group C to B. Someone like Ishan Kishan, who has played a considerable number of international games across two formats in 2022, is likely to enter the list.

Pandya, who has now led the national team in two T20I away series, might be included in group B after a string of consistent shows. He was demoted to Group C last year after missing a major part of last season due to a back injury.

(With PTI Inputs)

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