The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has started evaluating the performance of its contracts for the new season of the central contracts. Some of the notable names of the Pakistan cricket are likely to lose out on the contracts this time and some stands to be demoted. Hasan Ali and Fakhar Zaman will be the biggest names who are likely to be the casualties this time.
As many as 19 players were given contracts last year. Some of the players have nothing to stake a claim for a place in the list. On top of the list is Hasan Ali who was mere a showman last year rather an active player. Neither he has taken up cricket seriously nor stayed fit and ready to displace others for a place in the touring party or playing XI whenever international matches were played during the last six months.
The likes of Fakhar Zaman and Usman Shinwari may also be seen struggling for a place as the new list could be trimmed to some extent. Shinwari’s fitness and Fakhar’s form and failure to retain a place on the limited-overs team are said to be the reasons behind their exclusions. It is believed that Head Coach and Chief Selector Misbahul Haq has been given full power to finalise the list which would later be presented to Chief Executive Wasim Khan and Chairman Ehsan Mani for their approval.
Former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed might also seen struggling for Category A. “He is even a borderline case for the new list. If he is retained on the list, he would not be in a position to get anything higher than Category C,” a source within the PCB, when contacted, said.
Test captain Azhar Ali, who previously was bracketed in Category B, is expected to be given Category A — depending on the approval of high-ups — more due to the fact that he has to carry forward Test team’s commitments. He is expected to join Babar Azam, Yasir Shah and possibly Shaheen Shah Afridi in Category A. Shaheen has a solid ground to stake a claim for a place in Category A this time.
Players like Shan Masood, Abid Ali and Imad Wasim could be seen improving on category C. Their consistent performance may help them get a better deal this time.
For Imamul Haq and Harris Sohail retaining ‘B’ would not be easier as the two had been seen struggling to retain places in the team.
Only Naseem Shah, who was not part of the 19-player list last year, looks favourite to be given contract as a fresh entrant. Though players like Harris Rauf and Imran Butt have impressed, chances of their places on the list are remote.
Meanwhile, Yasir Shah was the last cricketer to have taken the fitness test on Saturday. With his test all the national cricketers have now completed the formality.