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‘No need of selectors now as board itself has picked players’

By Our Correspondent
August 09, 2019

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given a clear message to veteran cricketers and former captains Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik that their days with the game are numbered and countdown to end of their careers have started.

Both Hafeez and Malik have lost their central contracts whereas Mohammad Amir, who recently announced retirement from Test cricket, has been relegated to category C. The PCB Thursday offered central contracts to 19 players instead of 33, which used to be the practice and both the former captains have not been included in the list of those given contracts.

However, the PCB stated that they will be available for selection for the three upcoming series against Sri Lanka, Australia and Bangladesh, which means they would only be served with the match fee, sponsorship share and win bonus if selected. The PCB announced list of central contracts for the 2019-20 season during which the men’s cricket team will play six World Test Championship Tests, three ODIs and nine T20Is.

The list has been trimmed from 33 to 19 and the players who have been awarded central contracts are: Category A: Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed and Yasir Shah.

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

Category C: Abid Ali, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, M Amir, M Rizwan, Shan Masood and Usman Shinwari.

While finalising the list of central contracts, which will run from July 1, 2019 to June 30 2020, players’ performances and fitness in the past 12 months and the formats they are likely to represent Pakistan in the upcoming season was taken into consideration.

Faheem Ashraf, Asif Ali, Junaid Khan, M Nawaz, Rumman Raees, Rahat Ali, Usman Salahuddin and Hussain Talat are some of the others prominent exclusions. M Amir, who recently announced retirement from Test cricket, has been relegated to category C.

PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan on the occasion said: “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.”

Meanwhile, former skipper Rashid Latif criticised PCB for announcing the central contract list as he believes that the board have short-listed the players of their own choice.

The former wicket-keeper batsman took to Twitter, denouncing PCB’s selection of players with the central contracts.

“PCB issued central contracts to 19 players, now there’s no need of selection committee when they have selected the players themselves. It would have been better if this was done in consultation with the selection committee,” translation of his Tweet.