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Malik, Hafeez lose out on PCB's annual central contracts
PCB Central Contracts

Malik, Hafeez lose out on PCB's annual central contracts

The Pakistan Cricket Board has trimmed the number of centrally contracted players from 33 to 19 and reduced the overall categories from five to three for the 2019-20 playing season.

Several high-profile cricketers have missed out on securing a spot in the list of the annual contracts provided to the players including the senior duo of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez.

Malik, following the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup, announced his retirement from ODI cricket while declaring his preference to continue donning the national jersey in T20Is.

On the other hand, Hafeez's future prospects look bleak as he had an ordinary tournament campaign with both bat and ball though the 38-year-old has not yet made a decision on his career.

The PCB addressed the removal of Hafeez and Malik by confirming that the two were still in contention for being selected in the shorter formats of the game.

The new contracts have been made after assessing the "players' performances and fitness in the past 12 months" and also keeping in view the requirements of the forthcoming schedule which will feature six World Test Championship games, three ODIs and nine T20Is.

Other prominent cricketers excluded from the final list are Faheem Ashraf, Junaid Khan, Asif Ali and Hussain Talat.

“I want to congratulate all those who have been offered central contracts for the next season. We have significantly increased the financial value of the 2019-20 retainers across each category. This is over and above what had been agreed in the current agreement, which is due to run until 2021," PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan said.

The announcement comes a day after PCB decided not to renew contracts of head coach Mickey Arthur and the rest of the coaching staff.

Ace paceman Mohammad Amir has been demoted from Category B to Category C following his decision to bid farewell to Test cricket.

The remuneration of players under the new system has seen an increase of 25-40% as compared to last year.

“The PCB have set high standards and targets in its strategic plan for the upcoming season. We want to attach a high value to receiving a central contract. We have complete faith and confidence that these players will set-up and produce on-field performances that will help us collectively achieve our objectives and targets," Khan added.

Category A

Babar Azam, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Yasir Shah

Category B

Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Abbas, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz

Category C

Abid Ali, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood and Usman Shinwari