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LAHORE: Pacer Hassan Ali and wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan have been offered Category-A contracts along with Babar Azam and Shaheen Shah Afridi, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday announced the central contracts for 20 cricketers for the year 2021-2022.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also announced that match fees across all formats has been equalised, meaning that all players will receive the same amount for any match they play in – irrespective of which category they are in and whether they have a central contract or not. The 12-month contracts will run from 1st July 2021 to 30th June, 2022.

Following the PCB Governing Board’s approval of the 2021-22 fiscal years’ budget, the PCB has announced an enhanced and performance-based central contract list 2021-22 for 20 elite men cricketers, including three emerging cricketers, a PCB spokesman, said.

The list was finalised by the panel that comprising Director – International Cricket, Zakir Khan, chief selector Muhammad Wasim and Director – High Performance, Nadeem Khan, who also consulted head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam as part of the process.

In Category-B, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Fawad Alam, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah are included while Abid Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed fall in Category-C. Imran Butt, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir are in emerging category.

Players missing out on the central contracts include Asad Shafiq, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood and Usman Shinwari. However, they remain firmly in the selectors’ plan for the season ahead and have the opportunity to earn contracts for the 2022-23 season subject to performances during the 2021-22 season.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said, “Selecting 20 players amongst a big pool of quality cricketers is always a challenging task. I would like to thank the panel for their diligent work in selecting the 2021-22 central contract list against an agreed criteria. In the new list, we have seen eight new players emerge who have now gained central contracts. Due to the competitive nature of the central contract system nine players who had contracts in 2020-21 have sadly missed out on this occasion. The door remains firmly open for these players and they will continue to remain in the plans of the selectors.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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