Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is actively engaged in the process of finalizing central contracts for players in preparation for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
With the current contracts set to expire on June 30, the PCB is diligently working on new deals for the players.
Key players such as Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, and Fakhar Zaman are likely to retain their positions in Category A. Additionally, fast bowlers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah are anticipated to receive promotions in their contracts. Notably, Naseem Shah is expected to be included in both the red and white ball categories.
Several other players, including Iftikhar Ahmed, Saim Ayub, Ihsanullah, Usama Mir, Mohammad Haris, and Zaman Khan, are said to have secured spots in the contract list. Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is also expected to retain his red-ball contract.
The sources said that there was a possibility of a 20% increase in players' salaries under the proposed contracts. After consulting with skipper Babar Azam, a comprehensive list of contracted players will be compiled and presented to the PCB management committee, led by Najam Sethi. It's worth noting that the tenure of the PCB management committee concludes on June 21, and the announcement of the contracted players is expected before that date.
Chief Selector Haroon Rashid, who is currently involved in the process of formulating the new central contracts, will discuss the player names with Pakistan team's director Mickey Arthur, head coach Grant Bradburn, and director of international cricket operations Usman Wahla before finalizing the list. Captain Babar Azam's input will also be taken into consideration during this decision-making process.
Continuing its practice, the PCB will award separate contracts for white-ball and red-ball cricket. The contracts will be categorized as A, B, and C, with separate emerging contracts being offered to promising young players.
As part of the contract updates, veteran batsman Azhar Ali will be excluded from the centrally-contracted players list due to his retirement. Additionally, players such as Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Abid Ali, Yasir Shah, Nauman Ali, Khushdil Shah, Usman Qadir, and Zahid Mehmood are likely to lose their central contracts.
Current PCB Men's Central Contracts List for 2022-23:
Red and White-Ball Contracts:
Category A: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Category B (Red-Ball), Category C (White-Ball): Hasan Ali
Category C (Red-Ball), Category B (White-Ball): Imam-ul-Haq
Red Ball Contracts:
Category A: Azhar Ali
Category B: Fawad Alam
Category C: Abdullah Shafique, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali
Category D: Abid Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah
Category A: Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan
Category B: Haris Rauf
Category C: Mohammad Nawaz
Category D: Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir, Zahid Mehmood
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