Categorised central contracts to be awarded by July 1 June 18, 2007

Butt named Malik's deputy

Cricinfo staff



Salman Butt not only retained his place in the side, but has also been appointed Malik's deputy until December © AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed Salman Butt as Pakistan's vice-captain until December. The decision was taken by the board's ad-hoc committee meeting and Butt thus replaces Mohammad Asif, who was named Shoaib Malik's deputy for the recent Abu Dhabi series against Sri Lanka.

Butt, 22, made his Test debut against Bangladesh in 2003 but has only featured in 13 Tests since, due to a combination of his own inconsistency and that of the selection committee. He was not part of Pakistan's dismal World Cup performance but was brought back to partner Imran Nazir at the top of the order in Abu Dhabi. His first outing as vice-captain will be in Edinburgh against Scotland followed by an ODI against India at Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Nasim Ashraf, chairman PCB, said that a central contracts structure has also been approved. Central contracts will come in three categories, as before, but will now give greater consideration to performance in the last year (40%) and also take into account aspects such as fitness (20%), discipline (20%) and seniority (20%). categories for the central contracts that are to be issued shortly. Three slabs remain in the monthly retainer: a category A contract amounts to Rs3 million, category B to Rs2.5 million and category C will be Rs1.8 million annually.

There are also increases in match fees for ODIs with greater incentives also on offer, though the fees will be the same for all players. The contracts, Ashraf added, will be based on performances as judged by the ICC player rankings. The board is aiming to award all central contracts by July 1.