Mumbai, Nov 14 (IANS) Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Harbhjan Singh have been dropped from the Indian cricket board's list of contracted players for 2013-14. Sachin Tendulkar, who retires after the Mumbai Test, remains in Group A.
The list has been cut down to 25 players from 37 last year.
Tendulkar, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suresh Raina form Group A. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will pay them Rs.1 crore for the year.
The axe does not augur well for Zaheer, Sehwag and Harbhajan, who are trying to make a national comeback.
Yuvraj Singh and out-of-form Gautam Gambhir remain in the BCCI's scheme of things but have been demoted to Group B where a player draws Rs.50 lakh per annum.
Keeping them company in the grade are in-form Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Rohit Sharma.
The likes of Dinesh Karthik, Amit Mishra and Anjinkya Rahane are in Group C and get Rs.25 lakh each for the central contract.
"The players who do not figure in these lists will be placed in Grade C if they represent India in Tests/ODIs/ T20 Internationals during the season," said BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel in a statement Thursday.
The grade list:
Grade A (Rs. one crore annually): Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suresh Raina.
Grade B (Rs.50 lakh a year): Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rohit Sharma.
Grade C (Rs.25 lakh): Dinesh Karthik, Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Vinay Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohit Sharma.