Pakistan pace bowler Hasan Ali emerged a big gainer in the 2021/22central contracts’ list, announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday.
Ali made his entry into Category A, joining captain Babar Azam, vice-captain Mohammad Rizwan and left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi.
Ali missed out on the contracts last year due to a back injury but made a comeback to international cricket during the home series against South Africa. Rizwan, promoted from B to A category this February, retain his place in the top bracket.
A total of 20 players, one less than last year, have been given 12-month contracts that will run from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.
The contracts include “equalised match fee” across all formats. It means that all players who represent Pakistan will receive the same match fees irrespective of which category they are in or whether they have a central contract or not.
The PCB has also increased the monthly retainer fee for all three categories by 25 per cent and the emerging category by 15 per cent.
Apart from Ali, new faces in the list include Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Imran Butt, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.
Azhar Ali has moved down from Category A to B, while Sarfaraz Ahmed and Abid Ali have dropped from Category B to C.
Notable omissions include Asad Shafiq, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood and Usman Shinwari.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan said in a statement that all the nine players will remain in the selectors’ plan for the season ahead and have the opportunity to be considered for the 2022/23 season contracts.
“Due to the competitive nature of the central contract system, nine players 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,” said Khan.
Central contracts list 2021/22 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022):
Category A – Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Afridi
Category B – Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Fawad Alam, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah
Category C – Abid Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed
Emerging Category – Imran Butt, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.