PCB central contracts: Babar Azam in ‘A’ category, Hafeez left out

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi have been placed in Category ‘A’ of the central contracts announced by the PCB.

Pakistan captain and top-order batsman, Babar Azam.   -  AP

Senior players Mohammed Hafeez and Haris Sohail, among others, were left out of a list of 20 Pakistan players who were awarded central contracts on Friday by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Captain Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi were placed in the highest bracket of Category A. The board did not disclose the exact amounts to be paid to the players.

Those missing out included Hafeez, who was offered a mid-year contract early this year; Sohail; Asad Shafiq; Mohammad Abbas; Imad Wasim; and Shan Masood. Wahab Riaz and Shoaib Malik remain out of the list like last year.

The PCB also dropped young batsman Haider Ali and fast bowler Naseem Shah from the contracts list in the emerging category.

The PCB announced an across-the-board 25 percent increase in the monthly retainers for all four categories. The board said match fee across all formats for the men's national team had been equalised.

A Board official explained that match fees of players differed in different categories in all formats based on seniority. "But now that has been changed. Increases have been made in match fees of B, C, and emerging categories in Test, ODI, and T20 formats so that now all players get the same fees," the Board stated.

The 12-month contracts will run from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

In Category A, there would be no increase in Test, ODI and T20I match fees, while in Category B, Test match fee would be increased by 15 percent, the ODI match fee by 20 percent, and the T20I match fee by 25 percent.

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In Category C, the board announced a 34 percent increase in Test match fees, a 50 percent increase in ODI match fees, and a 67 percent increase in T20I match fees.

The remuneration in Emerging Category has been increased by 15 percent, with a 34 percent increase in Test match fees, a 50 percent increase in ODI match fees, and a 67 percent increase in T20I match fees.

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said selecting 20 players from a big pool of quality cricketers was a challenging task.

"In the new list, we have seen eight new players emerge who have now gained central contracts. Due to the competitive nature of the central contract system nine players who had contracts in 2020-21 have sadly missed out on this occasion," he said.

"The door remains firmly open for these players and they will continue to remain in the plans of the selectors. The equalisation of match fees means that all players who walk out together to represent Pakistan will receive the same match fees irrespective of which category they are in, or whether they have a central contract or not," he said.

The board said the list was finalised by a panel that comprised Director, International Cricket, Zakir Khan; chief selector Mohammad Wasim; and Director, High Performance, Nadeem Khan, who also consulted head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam as part of the process.

Central Contracts list for 2021/22 (Category A)
  • Babar Azam,
  • Hasan Ali,
  • Mohammad Rizwan, and
  • Shaheen Afridi

Category B
  • Azhar Ali,
  • Faheem Ashraf,
  • Fakhar Zaman,
  • Fawad Alam,
  • Shadab Khan, and
  • Yasir Shah

Category C
  • Abid Ali,
  • Imam-ul-Haq,
  • Haris Rauf,
  • Mohammad Hasnain,
  • Mohammad Nawaz,
  • Nauman Ali, and
  • Sarfaraz Ahmed

Emerging Category
  • Imran Butt,
  • Shahnawaz Dahani, and
  • Usman Qadir

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