The Pakistan Cricket Board has announced the central contracts of the players for next year, according to which separate contracts have been kept for Test and limited overs cricket.
According to Pakistan Cricket Board chief selector Muhammad Waseem, the players who have been given central contracts for both Test and limited overs cricket will be given separate monthly compensation for both types of cricket. The Pakistan Cricket Board has also fixed a ‘captaincy allowance’ for the captain of the team in the central contract this year, while the amount given to the players on a monthly basis has been kept secret.
The cricket board has also announced a 10 per cent increase in match fees while the match fees for non-playing players have been increased from 50 to 70 per cent. Special work has also been allocated for elite players under workload management so that they are fully fit and available to represent the Pakistan cricket team.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has introduced five categories this year instead of four, bringing the number of players getting central contracts from 20 to 33.
Which players lost their central contracts?
Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf has not been given a central contract this year, while Mohammad Hasnain and Imran Butt have also failed to get a central contract. Last year, Faheem Ashraf was in B category, Mohammad Hasnain C and Imran Butt in Emerging category.
Central contract players in both Test and Limited Overs format
The Pakistan Cricket Board has offered central contracts to five players for both the Test and limited overs formats. These players include captain Babar Azam, wicketkeeper-batsman Muhammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hassan Ali and Imam-ul-Haq.
Captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi have been included in both A formats while Hassan Ali has been included in B category in Test cricket and C in limited overs. Imam-ul-Haq has been awarded B category for limited overs cricket and C category for Test cricket.
Decline in Central Contract
Hassan Ali, who was in A category last year, has been downgraded from Central Contract and has been placed in B category for Test cricket and C category for limited overs cricket for next year.
Yasir Shah, who was out of the team due to injury, has been shifted from B category to D category while he has been given a contract only for Test cricket.
Right-handed batsman Abid Ali, who has been ruled out of the team due to a heart condition, has been relegated from the C category to the D category and has also been given a central contract for Test cricket only.
Wicketkeeper-batsman and former captain Sarfraz Ahmed has also moved from the C category to the D category for Test cricket.
Athletes advancing to Central Contract
The players who have progressed this year as compared to last year include Azhar Ali, Fakhr Zaman, Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dhani and Usman Qadir. Former captain Azhar Ali has moved from B category to A category but has been given a central contract only for Test cricket.
In limited overs, vice-captain Shadab Khan, Fakhr Zaman has been promoted from B category to A category while Haris Rauf has been given central contract from C category to B category. Besides, Shahnawaz Dhani and Usman Qadir have been shifted from emerging category to D category. These promising players have been given central contracts for limited overs cricket only.
Imam-ul-Haq has been promoted from C category to B category for limited overs cricket.
New players joining Central Contract
The PCB has introduced a D-category central contract this year, bringing the number of players from 20 to 33. This year, 16 new players have been given central contracts in different categories. Among the new players for Test cricket, Abdullah Shafiq and Naseem Shah have been offered C-category while Saud Shakeel and Shaun Masood have been offered D-category central contracts.
Besides, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Khushdal Shah, Wasim Jr. and Zahid Khawaja have been given D-category central contracts in limited overs cricket.
Athletes receiving central contracts in the emerging category
The number of players in the emerging category has been increased from 3 to 7 this year.
They include Ali Usman, Kamran Ghulam, Haseebullah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Harira, Qasim Akram and Salman Ali Agha.