St. John's: Comeback all-rounder Marlon Samuels and new Test finds Kirk Edwards and Devendra Bishoo are among 18 male players offered central retainer contracts by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
Samuels, back in the international cricket after a two-year ban for inappropriate ties with an Indian bookmaker, has been handed a Grade B contract while Bishoo and Edwards have been upgraded from development contracts to Grade C.
A WICB statement Friday said all players had signed their contracts.
As expected, however, there is no contract for out-of-favour left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who last represented West Indies at the World Cup earlier this year, while batsmen Devon Smith and Brendan Nash along with all-rounder Dave Bernard, left-arm spinner Nikita Miller and fast bowler Nelon Pascal, have been axed from the list.
Nash, appointed Test vice-captain ahead of the tour to Sri Lanka late last year, has miraculously disappeared from the radar following failures against Pakistan and India this year.
He was left out of the squad for Bangladesh and subsequently withdrew from Jamaica's squad for the ongoing Regional Super50 Series.
Nash, an obdurate left-hander, averages 33.42 from 21 Tests and scored the second of his two centuries against South Africa last year.
Samuels, however, has been rewarded for a relatively successful return to maroon colours. He has scored two half-centuries in six Test innings since returning and three in 12 one-day innings, including two on the current tour of Bangladesh.
Edwards came to the fore when he struck a century on debut against India in July while Bishoo has been consistent and a steady member of the Test and one-day sides since making his international debut at the World Cup in March.
Veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul is the only player on a Grade A contract, which is the highest grade on offer.
Fidel Edwards, who returned to action this year after a two-year injury layoff, has received a Grade B contract for the first time along with new ball partner Ravi Rampaul.
The 29-year-old Edwards has taken 19 wickets in three Tests since re-entering the Windies side.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy remains on a Grade B contract.
Exciting opener Adrian Barath, who scored a century on debut against Australia two years ago but has been in and out of the side through injury since, has still managed to land a Grade C contract again.
CMC Sports Wire understands that Grade A contracts are worth $120,000, Grade B are valued at $100,000 and Grade C at $80,000.
WICB have also increased their quota of contracted women's players to eight by adding Tremayne Smartt and Shemaine Campbell to the list.