Pakistan news March 19, 2010

Younis, Yousuf and Malik out of central contracts

Cricinfo staff
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Three former Pakistan captains - Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik - along with fast bowlers Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Shoaib Akhtar have been excluded from the list of those handed central contracts by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Younis, Yousuf, Malik and Rana were not considered after the PCB banned them - two indefinitely and two for a year - last week in the aftermath of the Australia tour. Shoaib has not played for Pakistan in any format since May last year.

"Naturally we did not consider the names of Yousuf and Younus because of their bans and there can be a review if their bans are lifted," PCB chief operating officer Wasim Bari told AFP

"PCB has awarded central contracts to the players after consultation with chairman selection committee Mohsin Khan and these contracts will be effective for one year starting from January 1, 2010," Bari said.

No such penalty has been handed out to the three other players who were punished, Shahid Afridi, Kamran and Umar Akmal. Afridi was handed a Rs3 million fine for the ball-biting incident by the board but has retained a category A contract. The Akmal brothers also paid hefty fines but Kamran remains a category A player, while Umar comes straight into category B.

Fast bowler Mohammad Asif, who was ignored last year due to a ban imposed for a failed drug test in the IPL, and former ICL player Abdul Razzaq have also been given Grade A contracts. There was a Grade B contract as well for another former ICL player Imran Farhat. Mohammad Aamer, one of Pakistan's most impressive debutants last year, has also been rewarded with a category B contract.

In its list of 37 players announced today, the board also introduced a special stipend category for the top performers in the domestic season and budding Under-19 and other players. A PCB media release said the contracts would be effective for one year starting from January 1, 2010.

Asad Shafiq, Junaid Khan, Aamir Sajjad, Naveed Yasin, Azhar Ali and Tanvir Ahmad were handed stipends for being the top performers domestically, while Azeem Ghumman, Hammad Azam, Babar Azam, Raza Hasan, Sarmad Bhatti and Usman Qadir were rewarded similarly after helping the Pakistan U-19 team reach the final of the World Cup held in New Zealand in January.

The pay scales remain unchanged from last year. Players in the top category will earn Rs250,000 per month, while 'B' and 'C' category players earn Rs175,000 and Rs100,000 per month. The stipend payment is Rs50,000.

The PCB had earlier delayed awarding annual central contracts to its players until the inquiry report into the team's dismal performance on their tour of Australia was released. A six-man evaluation committee was set up by the board after Pakistan were thrashed 3-0 in the Test series, 5-0 in the ODIs and beaten in the only Twenty20 match.