Wednesday May 13, 2020
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced cricketers' central contracts on Wednesday and as expected, T20 and ODI skipper Babar Azam was retained in the top 'A' category while former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmad was demoted to the 'B' category.
The PCB handed central contracts to a total of 18 players while another three were placed in Emerging Players’ category. Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz were the biggest absentees who were not awarded contracts.
Shaheen Shah Afridi and Test captain Azhar Ali have been promoted to the 'A' category while leg spinner Yasir Shah was demoted to the 'B' category.
Starlet Naseem Shah and all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmad (Category C) were the first-time recipients of the contracts but the biggest news was the snub of pace trio Amir, Riaz and Hasan – all three of whom have seen their utility diminish over the past year.
“The selectors have made the tough decisions to leave out Amir, Hasan and Wahab but considering Hasan missed most of the season due to an injury and Amir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, this was the right move,” said Head Coach Misbah-ul-Haq.
“However, Amir and Wahab are senior and experienced bowlers and they remain in contention as we believe they can still contribute to the Pakistan men’s cricket team and also mentor our young battery of fast bowlers.”
The PCB has also created a new Emerging Players’ Category, and the initial inductees are Haider Ali and fast bowlers Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain.