Afridi, Umar Akmal given top PCB contracts
Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal have been awarded category A contracts by the PCB for the calendar year 2012. Mohammad Sami, who had been picked in Pakistan's teams in all three formats for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka after being sidelined for two years, has not received a contract.
Afridi had not figured in last year's list of central contracts as he was in the middle of a spat with the PCB then. Umar Akmal has been moved up from category B.
There are no other changes to the top category: Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman are the others in the premier bracket.
Shoaib Malik, who was not given a contract last year, has been awarded a category B contract, while Abdul Razzaq, who was in the second bracket last year, has been cut from the list. Fast bowler Aizaz Cheema has made the biggest jump, moving from the stipend category up to category B.
Other players who were selected for Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka in June and July but have missed out on contracts are Yasir Arafat and Khan Research Laboratories fast bowler Rahat Ali. Quetta's Bismillah Khan, who was recently banned for a year following a fight during a Grade Two match, has been included in the stipend category.
In all, 21 players have been given full-fledged contracts, while 21 players have been placed in the stipend category. On Friday, the PCB had announced an increase of 25% in the retainer for centrally contracted players, and an increase of 10% in match fees.
That means category A players will now receive a retainer of 312,500 Pakistan rupees (US$3400 approx), up from Rs 250,000 last year. Category B players will receive Rs 218,750 (up from Rs 175,000), and category C Rs 125,000 (up from Rs 100,000). Players in the stipend category will receive Rs 62,500 (up from Rs 50,000).
Category A: Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdur Rehman, Umar Akmal
Category B: Shoaib Malik, Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema
Category C: Sarfraz Ahmad, Adnan Akmal, Hammad Azam, Wahab Riaz, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Nasir Jamshed
Stipend category: Sohail Tanvir, Khalid Latif, Sharjeel Khan, Shakeel Ansar, Haris Sohail, Raza Hasan, Ahmed Shahzad, Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Ayub, Imran Khan, Bilawal Bhatti, Awais Zia, Shahzeb Hasan, Mohammad Khalil, Anwar Ali, Afaq Rahim, Bismillah Khan, Babar Azam, Sami Aslam, Zia-ul-Haq, Usman Qadir