Nehra gets BCCI contract, Irfan demoted

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Ashish Nehra on Wednesday was rewarded for his impressive comeback into the Indian side with a Grade B contract from the BCCI.

Updated: November 26, 2009 10:33 IST
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The Indian Cricket Board on Wednesday rewarded in-form pacer Ashish Nehra by offering him a Grade B annual contract worth Rs 40 lakh.

Delhi pacer Nehra, who made a fine comeback into the one-day squad after being in the wilderness, did not have a BCCI contract in the previous year.

Irfan, who was placed in Grade B in the previous period, found his name missing from the either of the four lists. However, the BCCI later clarified that his name was erroneously left out of the retainership list and that he was part of Grade 'C' along side his brother Yusuf for the period of October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010.

Uttar Pradesh pacer Praveen Kumar also benefited in the new contracts announced on Wednesday by the BCCI for 40 players as he got a boost from Grade C (Rs 25 lakh) to B.

The Board retained the same nine as last year in Grade A which is worth Rs 60 lakh.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar, in his 21st international season, were expectedly given Grade A contracts along with Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh.

Tamil Nadu batsman S Badrinath, who was surprisingly given Grade B contract for the 2008-09 period despite having played only a few ODIs, was downgraded to Grade C.

The Board's Gradation Committee met recently to finalise the contracts, BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said.

Another player to benefit is Tamil Nadu wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik, upgraded from D to C while leg-spinner Piyush Chawla got demoted to Grade D from C.

The lowest grade comprising 17 players has four new names - Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, all rounder Abhishek Nayar and batsman Ajinkya Rahane and Bengal batsman Manoj Tiwary.

The BCCI did not renew the contracts of Punjab pacer Manpreet Gony and Delhi leg spinner Chetanya Nanda. The complete list:

Grade A (Rs 60 lakh): Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, V V S Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh.

Grade B (Rs 40 lakh): Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel, R P Singh, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra.

Grade C (Rs 25 lakh): S Badrinath, Wasim Jaffer, Yusuf Pathan, Pragyan Ojha, S Sreesanth, Dinesh Karthik and Amit Mishra.

Grade D (Rs 15 lakh): Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja, Robin Uthappa, Parthiv Patel, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohd Kaif, Virat Kohli, Ashok Dinda, Wridddhiman Saha, M Vijay, R Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Sudeep Tyagi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane and Manoj Tiwary.

(With PTI inputs)

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