Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan announced their central contract list for the 2020-2021 season, but the pace trio of Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali were not included in it.
Amir and Wahab have been heavily criticised for retiring from Test cricket at a time where Pakistan needed their experience since they have a very young squad right now.
As for Hasan, he has been sidelined with injuries as of late, but made a comeback at this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he took eight wickets in nine games for the Peshawar Zalmi at an average of 34.37.
Meanwhile, Test captain Azhar Ali and left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi were promoted from Category B to A contracts.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has not played for Pakistan since being sacked as Pakistan’s Test and T20 captain in October last year, was demoted from a Category A to B contract.
Teenage fast bowler Naseem Shah was given a Category C contract, while Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf and Haider Ali were included in the newly-created Emerging Players’ Category.
The new contracts will come into effect on July 1.
“The philosophy and criteria for this merit-based central contract list was simple and straightforward: the selectors reviewed player performances in the past 12 months and then looked ahead to our team requirements in the forthcoming 12 months,” Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said in the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) press release.
“I am thankful to the PCB Chairman for supporting our recommendation to give emerging player contracts to Haider, Haris and Hasnain. This is part of our forward-looking strategy and investing in the future, while also encouraging potential future national team players. I am sure this will motivate a number of youngsters in the 2020-21 domestic cricket to perform up to the expected level and earn such incentives.
“The selectors have made the tough decisions to leave out Amir, Hasan and Wahab but considering Hasan missed most of the season due to an injury and Amir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, this was the right move. However, Amir and Wahab are senior and experienced bowlers and they remain in contention as we believe they can still contribute to the Pakistan men’s cricket team and also mentor our young battery of fast bowlers.
“Rizwan has been promoted to Category B after being a regular member of the side, while Sarfaraz has been placed in Category B as he very much features in our future plans. We have some tough cricket lined up over the next 12 months where we will potentially require Sarfaraz’s knowledge and experience.
“I am delighted for Naseem and Shaheen who have been well-rewarded for their outstanding performances. The two teenagers are the future of Pakistan cricket and I have no doubts that if they remain fit and stay focused, they will dominate world cricket for a long time. Their elevation is also a reward for bowling coach Waqar Younis, who has been working tirelessly on them, but there is still a long way to go for the duo and they have to perform consistently at big stages before they can put their cases of classifying them in the league of bowlers such as Waqar.
“In the list, we have a strong pool of batsmen and bowlers, which will allow us to strategically rotate our players and manage their workloads. In the meantime, the selectors will continue to keep an eye on the 2020-21 domestic cricket and if they feel strongly that someone needs to be fast tracked into the national side, then we will not hesitate in giving those top performers such opportunities.”
Pakistan’s Central Contract List
- Category A (PKR 1.1m): Babar Azam, Azhar Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi
- Category B (PKR 750,000): Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas, Shadab Khan, Abid Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah
- Category C (PKR 550,000): Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Naseem Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, Usman Shinwari
- Emerging: Haider Ali, Harris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain