Mohammad Abbas, Asad Shafiq, Imad Wasim, Haider Ali and Naseem Shah lose their Pakistan contracts
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently released the list of central contracts for the 2021-2022 season. The list outlines which players are ranked in which category and their expected salaries. There were some shocking absentees on the list, like veterans Mohamed Abbas, Asad Shafiq, and Imad Wasim. In addition, some youngsters (Haider Ali & Naseem Shah) who had widely been expected to feature in the list did not make it.
Twenty players were named in the list (spread across four categories), one player less than last year’s central contracts list.
Category A (Monthly Salary-$8,600) 4 players: Hassan Ali, Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammed Rizwan
Category B (Monthly Salary-$5,900) 6 players: Shadab Khan, Azhar Ali, Faheem Sharaf, Fakhar Zaman, Fawad Alam, Yasir Shah
Category C (Monthly Salary-$4,300) 7 players: Abid Ali, Haris Raul, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain
Emerging Category 3 players: Imran Butt, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir
Hassan Ali was the surprise come-back to category A, having not been in the 2020-2021 PCB central contracts list. The medium-fast bowler was last listed in 2018-2019. He has recently been in good form after shaking off a spate of injuries in 2019. Ali was chosen as player of the series in the recent Test matches against Zimbabwe in May.
There were also some demotions in the list with Azhar Ali (dropping from category A to B), Abid Ali, and Sarfaraz Ahmed (Both dropping from category B to C). Sarfaraz Khan, a former captain, was dropped from the first team across all formats in 2019, but he is featured in the touring squad. This is due to COVID requirements for teams to tour with large parties. He has played only 1 ODI and two T20Is since 2020.
Other players who lost their contracts are Shan Masood, Haris Sohail, Usman Shinwari, and Iftikhar Ahmed. For Haris Sohail, it came as no surprise given his recent dip in form.
The amount of match fees paid to players was also adjusted upwards and equalized across the various categories. The monthly retainers were also increased by 25% across the three categories.
Wasim Khan, the PCB CEO, stated that the board was planning to keep reviewing the player’s wages upwards every season. He also defended the board’s step to equalize the match appearance fees across all categories and even those without a central contract.