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BCCI announces annual contracts for India women's team; Richa Ghosh, Jemimah Rodrigues earn big promotions

Jemimah Rodrigues made a strong comeback to the team after missing the ODI World Cup last year and has been placed in Grade B.

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On Thursday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the Annual Player Contracts for the Indian senior women's team for the 2022-23 season. The contracts are divided into three grades, with Grade A being the highest. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, and Deepti Sharma were all placed in Grade A.

Other players who made the cut include Renuka Thakur, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shefali Verma, Richa Ghosh, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who were placed in Grade B. Meghna Singh, Devika Vaidya, Sabbineni Meghana, Anjali Sarvani, Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Radha Yadav, Harleen Deol, and Yastika Bhatia were placed in Grade C.

Harmanpreet Kaur has been leading the Indian team across all three formats since the retirement of Mithali Raj after the 2022 ODI World Cup. She led the team to the final of the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup earlier this year.

Smriti Mandhana has been a consistent performer for the Indian team and was promoted to vice-captaincy in ODIs last year. Deepti Sharma has been a crucial player for the team in all formats, especially with the ball.

Jemimah Rodrigues made a strong comeback to the team after missing the ODI World Cup last year and has been placed in Grade B.

However, veteran pacer Shikha Pandey and wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia did not receive contracts this year. On the other hand, Renuka Thakur, who did not have a contract last year, has been placed in Grade B after a stellar season.

The BCCI recently announced the annual retainership for the 2020-21 season, which saw players divided into three categories. Grade A players received an impressive annual salary of INR 50 lakh, while Grade B players earned INR 30 lakh. Grade C players received an annual salary of INR 10 lakh.

Last year, the BCCI made a groundbreaking announcement that its male and female cricketers would now earn the same match fees. This means that female cricketers will now earn INR 15 lakhs for a Test, 6 lakhs for an ODI, and 3 lakhs for a T20I, just like their male counterparts. Previously, the team earned INR 1 lakh for an ODI or T20I appearance and INR 2.5 lakh for a Test match.

However, despite this positive change, female cricketers still lag behind their male counterparts when it comes to retainership figures. The top-category male players are placed in Grade A+ and earn an impressive INR 7 crore annually.

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