Hafeez, Malik not offered contracts by PCB; will remain available for selection

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Shafaqna Pakistan: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday announced the names of players who have been awarded central contracts for the year 2019-20.

All-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have not been awarded contracts “but they will remain available for selection”, a PCB press release said. Malik and Hafeez were criticised for poor performance in the recent Cricket World Cup, where Pakistan failed to qualify for the semifinals due to low net run rate.

After Pakistan’s disqualification, Malik had announced his retirementfrom one-day international cricket.

The board has reduced the number of players who have been awarded a central contract from previous year’s 33 to 19 but has “increased the financial value” for each category. Players have been classified into three categories: A, B and C.

The board took players’ performance and fitness over the past 12 months into consideration while finalising the list of athletes who were to be awarded central contracts. Their performance in the formats that the players are likely to play in was also reviewed.

Top order batsman Babar Azam, captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and bowler Yasir Shah have been awarded category A contracts while Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Imamul Haq, Mohammad Abbas, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz are in category B.

Abid Ali, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood and Usman Shinwari have received category C contracts.

“I want to congratulate all those who have been offered central contracts for the next season,” the press release quoted PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan as saying. “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.

“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.”

The announcement comes a day after it emerged that the PCB has decided not to renew Mickey Arthur’s contract as head coach.