Veteran India women’s cricketer Mithali Raj on Thursday was demoted to Grade B from A in the BCCI central contracts while Radha Yadav and Taniya Bhatia were elevated to the middle bracket.

The move to drop Mithali to category B (where she will not earn INR 30 lakh as compared for INR 50 lakh) was expected since the 37-year-old retired from T20s in September last year. However, she remains the ODI captain and plans to carry on till the 2021 World Cup.

T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur retained his A category contract alongside Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav. Radha and Taniya, who both had a Grade C contract worth Rs 10 lakh last year, have now entered Grade B (Rs 30 lakh).

Meanwhile, players who were awarded a contract for the first time included 15-year-old opener Shafali Verma and Harleen Deol.

Shafali has attracted a lot of attention ever since making her India debut last year. She recently made 124 against Australia A in Brisbane. The opener will be expected to deliver in the upcoming T20 World Cup Down Under.

Dropped from the list is Mona Meshram, who was in Grade C last year and hasn’t played a single game in recent times. The latest contracts run from October 2019 to September 2020.

Grade A (Rs 50 lakh): Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav

Grade B (Rs 30 lakh): Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma

Grade C (Rs 10 lakh): Veda Krishnamurthy, Punam Raut, Anuja Patil, Mansi Joshi, D Hemlatha, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar, Harleen Deol, Priya Punia, Shafali Verma