No central contracts for Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik; Mohammad Amir demoted after Test retirement
Mohammad Amir has been demoted in central contract lisr. @AFP

Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik were in the list of cricketers to lose their central contracts as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named the list of contracted players for the next one year. Although they will be available for selection, the board confirmed in its release.

Only 19 players have been offered contracts, which run from August 1 2019 to June 30 2020. In 2018, PCB had offered contracts to as many as 33 players. This year, the list includes three categories – A, B and C.

Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam and Yasir Shah have been retained in the top-most category. Shah, a Test regular, isn’t a permanent member in the limited-overs format as Shadab Khan continues to lead Pakistan’s spin attack in white-ball cricket.

Mohammad Amir was demoted to Category C from A while  Azhar Ali was also relegated to Category B. Amir retired from Test cricket last month, which could be the reason behind this demotion. Azhar, former Pakistan’s ODI captain, had quit 50-over format in 2018.

imam ul haq world cup 2019 runs
At the World Cup, Imam-ul-Haq made 305 runs at 38.12. © AFP

Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas and Wahab Riaz were promoted to Category B from C. Riaz had made his comeback to ODI cricket – for World Cup 2019 – after a period of two years and is expected to keep his place.

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Shaheen Shah Afridi made a big jump from Category E to B. He has established himself in white-ball cricket and in expected to be given chances in red-ball cricket. Afridi scalped 16 wickets in five World Cup matches at 14.62, with best figures of 6/35.

Hassan Ali and Fakhar Zaman were surprisingly demoted from Category B to C. Both were a part of the squad for World Cup but could not contribute much. Zaman managed just 186 runs in eight matches. Hasan Ali remained out of playing XI for major part of World Cup and could just scalp two wickets in four matches.

Opener Abid Ali, who scored a century on his ODI debut against Australia earlier this year, and Usman Shinwari are new faces in the central contract list.

List of contracted players – 

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