Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, and senior players Mohammed Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi received top deals in PCB’s 2022-23 central contracts, while allrounder Faheem Ashraf and speedster Mohammad Hasnain were sidelined.
Azam, Rizwan and Afridi have been listed in the highest category in Pakistan’s annual central contracts for 2022-23 for red-ball and limited-overs cricket. The Pakistan Cricket Board restructured its player contracts this year, splitting the players into two pools – for red-ball and white-ball cricket. The number of contacts has also been increased from 20 to 33.
Seven players – Salman Ali Agha, Haseebullah, Muhammad Huraira, Ali Usman, Kamran Ghulam, Qasim Akram and Muhammad Haris – have been listed in the emerging players bracket.
“I want to congratulate all those who have earned central contracts for the 2022-23 season, especially our younger players… for the first time as part of our vision and strategy to identify, groom, and develop specialists for the traditional and purest format of the game,”chief selector Mohammad Wasim said in a press interaction in Rawalpindi.
“We have also expanded our category of emerging cricketers from three to seven as it is very important for us to groom those cricketers who have the potential to make it to the top level and give an incentive to those players who have excelled in our domestic tournaments.”
Imam-ul-Haq, who has had a splendid run in ODIs of late, has earned a promotion to Category B in white-ball cricket, but remained in Category C for red-ball. Hasan Ali was demoted to Category C in white-ball, while bagging a Category B deal for the longer version.
Azhar Ali has progressed to the Category A in red-ball cricket, while Shadab Khan and Fakhar Zaman made gains to the top category in white-ball cricket.