After a thorough review, PCB has decided to name five additional players in the men’s central contracts list bringing the total number of players offered contracts to 30. The three-year contracts deal announced last month, will run from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2026.
The previous 25-man list of players was finalised by the Najam Sethi-led management committee but the new management committee under its chairman Mr Zaka Ashraf has decided to review the list. The new inductions include Abrar Ahmed (Category C), Noman Ali (Category C), Tayyab Tahir (Category D), Aamir Jamal (Category D) and Arshad Iqbal (Category D).
Sarfaraz Ahmed, former captain, was previously named in Category “D” but has been elevated to Category B. He is presently Pakistan’s first-choice wicket-keeper batter in the red-ball format. He made his comeback to the Test side in December last year and has amassed 367 runs across four matches at an average of 61.16. The 36-year-old was named player of the series for his three half-centuries and one century in four innings against New Zealand at home.
Abrar and Noman, placed in Category C, have been regular Pakistan’s Test team members over the past year. Mystery spinner Abrar has picked up 38 wickets in six matches since making his debut against England in Multan while left-arm spinner Noman has taken 17 wickets in four games over the last 12 months.
Aamir (4 T20Is), Arshad (3 T20Is) and Tayyab (3 T20Is) slotted in Category D continue to remain in the plans of the national men’s selection committee.
Below is the updated list of players with categories who have been offered contracts:
Category A: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi
Category B: Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shadab Khan
Category C: Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Imad Wasim and Noman Ali
Category D: Aamir Jamal, Arshad Iqbal, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Usama Mir and Zaman Khan
The contracts offered significantly increased monthly retainers, with a share of the ICC revenue incorporated into the overall monthly remuneration. The three-year tenure of the contacts will have its financial model locked for the three years but a list of players will be appraised after 12 months. The previous central contract cycle expired on 30 June and the new agreement was deemed effective from 1 July 2023.