The BCCI on Thursday announced the annual contract (player retainership) for Indian women cricketers. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and all-rounder Deepti Sharma have been placed in the top grade. Spinner Rajeshwari Gaikwad has been demoted to B category. Leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, who was in Category A last year, has no contract after falling down the pecking order. She last played for India in March 2022. In a release, the BCCI said: “The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Thursday announced the Annual Player Contracts for Team India (Senior Women) for the 2022-23 season.” However, the board did not specify the pay structure for each category in the release. The grade structures are as follows:-
- Ms. Harmanpreet Kaur
- Ms. Smriti Mandhana
- Ms. Deepti Sharma
- Ms. Renuka Thakur
- Ms. Jemima Rodrigues
- Ms. Shafali Verma
- Ms. Richa Ghosh
- Ms. Rajeshwari Gaikwad
- Ms. Meghna Singh
- Ms. Devika Vaidya
- Ms. Sabbineni Meghna
- Ms. Anjali Sarwani
- Ms. Pooja Vastrakar
- Ms. Sneh Rana
- Ms. Radha Yadav
- Ms. Harleen Deol
- Ms. Yastika Bhatia
The annual retainership was last announced by the BCCI for the 2020-21 season where the players were also divided into three categories. A Grade A player earned an annual salary of Rs 50 lakh, while a Grade B player earned Rs 30 lakh. For a Grade C player, the annual salary was Rs 10 lakh.
Spinner Rajeshwari Gaikwad has been demoted to B category. Leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, who was in Category A last year, has no contract after falling down the pecking order. She last played for India in March 2022.
Veteran fast bowler Shikha Pandey, who made a surprise comeback for the T20 World Cup in South Africa, finds herself without a contract and so does wicketkeeper Tania Bhatia.
Fast bowler Renuka Thakur, who did not have a contract last year, has been straightaway promoted to Category B after an impressive season.
Richa Ghosh and Jemima Rodrigues have moved from C to B category. New entrants in Category C include fast bowler Meghna Singh, batsman Devika Vaidya, openers S Meghna, Radha Yadav, left-arm pacer Anjali Sarwani and batsman Yastika Bhatia.
Harleen Deol and Sneh Rana remain in the bottom tier, while injured all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar has been demoted from B to C.
In a landmark announcement last year, the BCCI had revealed that its male and female cricketers would now get equal match fees. This means that like their men’s team counterparts, women cricketers will get Rs 15 lakh for a Test, Rs 6 lakh for an ODI and Rs 3 lakh for a T20I. Previously, teams used to earn INR 1 lakh for an ODI or T20I appearance, and Rs. 2.5 lakhs for a test match.
When it comes to retainership figures, women cricketers are still far behind men. In the men’s team, the top-ranked players are placed in Grade A+ and earn Rs 7 crore annually.