Sarfraz Ahmed and Yasir shah have been promoted to Category ‘A’ by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in the list of players selected for the Central contract with the PCB on Thursday. Both Yasir and Sarfraz had category ‘B’ contracts during the previous season.
Senior players Mohammed Hafeez, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik and Azhar Ali will continue to retain their Category ‘A’ contracts while veteran Shahid Afridi, also part of the same group last season had been excluded without any central contract with the PCB.
Compared to previous year’s Category ‘B’ contracts, only Wahab Riaz, Asad Shafiq and Rahat Ali have been retained on the same list while Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan have been neglected. Notably, Mohammad Amir who made his international comeback with the Pakistan tour of New Zealand has been awarded a Category ‘B’ contract.
A total of 14 players were handed a Category ‘C’ contract by the PCB, while another five players were handed a Category ‘D’ contract, the lowest level of a contract awarded by the PCB. Interestingly, Ahmed Shehzad (category ‘B’ last year) and Umar Akmal (category ‘C’ last year) were drawn into the Category ‘D’ contract list.
Though the contracts were to be announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board in June 2016 itself, the decision has been delayed by three months as a majority of the newly appointed members of the Central contract committee were newcomers. “The Pakistan Cricket Board believes in transparency and therefore, an additional three months time was needed to assess the performance of the players by the newly formed Central contract committee”, a PCB media release said.
The Central contract awarded to 30 players will be effective from 1 October 2016 to June 30, 2017.