New Delhi, India: Rising star Rishabh Pant has been made one of India's best-paid cricketers after being elevated in the country's latest national contracts.
The 21-year-old batsman-wicketkeeper, who made his Test debut in England last year, joined A-grade players earning a guaranteed $715,000 a year for national team duty, it was announced late Thursday.
He is among 11 players who sit just below leading stars, skipper Virat Kohli, senior batsman Rohit Sharma and paceman Jasprit Bumrah, who are guaranteed at least $1 million each in the A-plus category.
Veteran batsman Shikhar Dhawan and bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar both drop down from the top tier in pay lists for the contracts that will take the squad through the World Cup, when India will start among the favourites.
Pant, who is being groomed to take over from Mahendra Singh Dhoni as first choice wicketkeeper in all formats, has made his name as a flamboyant batsman scoring his maiden Test century in the England series.
He underlined his worth with an unbeaten 159 against Australia in Sydney this year.
India's top male cricketers will earn more than 10 times as much as the leading women on the Board of Control for Cricket in India list.
Former women's captain Mithali Raj, the highest run-scorer in the world, and three teammates in the female A list will be paid $71,500 each.