Pakistan news June 5, 2014

Malik, Kamran Akmal denied central contracts


Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal have been axed from the PCB's central contracts list for 2014, while senior batsman Younis Khan has been demoted from category A to category B. Fast bowler Junaid Khan has been promoted from B to A, in the list of 31 contracted players.

Younis, a veteran of 89 Tests and 253 ODIs, was dropped from the one-day squad last year and since then has been a Test specialist. He earned a category A contract last year and was among the fittest players in the recently conceded summer camp but found himself demoted. Umar Akmal and Umar Gul were retained in category B.

Ahmed Shehzad, who played three Test matches against Sri Lanka in UAE earlier this year and scored a century in the World T20, was upgraded to B from C last year and remained in that category. Apart from Malik and Kamran, Imran Farhat, Aizaz Cheema and Taufeeq Umar were left out of the pool of contracted players this year. Both Malik and Kamran had been omitted from the month-long summer camp in Lahore, because the selectors weren't satisfied with their recent performances in the World T20.

Category D, also known as the stipends category, includes promising players like Sharjeel Khan, Ehsan Adil, Raza Hasan, Haris Sohail and Shan Masood. Test wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, who injured his finger last year against Sri Lanka, was retained in category C, while his replacement Sarfaraz Ahmed was retained in D.

Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, who was sidelined for nearly six months due to a hip injury, was slotted in the lowest category. The PCB said the factors considered were form, fitness levels and future potential. Irfan's injury prone history was the reason he was included in the lowest category. He is hopeful of playing limited-overs matches later this year but has ruled out appearing in Tests. He is optimistic of playing a big part in the World Cup next year.

The PCB increased the retainership by 25% for the second straight year despite Pakistan's average performance through 2013. They played eight Tests, winning two and losing five; 34 ODIs, winning and losing 16 each, and 12 T20s, winning eight and losing four. They also failed to reach the semifinals of the World T20 in Bangladesh.

The PCB had planned to reduce the number of central contacts to 22, but it was increased to 31. Last year, 30 contracts were handed out and for 2014, the idea was to downsize and retain only those who are likely to play throughout the year.

However, on releasing the list of contracts, the PCB said: "The 31 contacts are awarded to established players and young ones with future potential - with across-the-board increases in remunerations. The standout feature this year is that not only the monthly retainer has been substantively increased, but also match fees for Test and ODI cricket have seen steep upward revision."

Category A (Rs 449, 218 per month): Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Junaid Khan

Category B (Rs 314,452): Younis Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul

Category C (Rs 179,687): Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Adnan Akmal, Khurram Manzoor, Nasir Jamshed, Abdul Rehman

Category D (Rs 89,843) : Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Bilawal Bhatti, Sharjeel Khan, Zulfiqar Babar, Fawad Alam, Ehsan Adil, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Raza Hasan, Umar Amin, Haris Sohail, Rahat Ali, Shaan Masood, Mohammad Talha, Anwar Ali

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    Its really a shame, Hafeez in A Category and Younis in B. You must be kidding... I was thinking Hafeez will be dropped after his dismal performance in tests in SA and in limited over games in WC, but he got and A ..... Shame

  • Abdul on June 9, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    Did so much for his country and in the end thats what he gets? What a shame.

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    @ shehryar i am not defending his ODI stats i am just saying he is top test match player and such players are always kept in category A not category B . Imagine hafeez in A and younis in B thats awful .

  • ali on June 8, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    where is FAISAL IQBAL? Why Mr.FLUKE (AFRIDI) is getting A Category when he only plays T20 and ODIS , why ASAD Shafiq is demonted to D category when is the bright future of Pakistan after old guns.How long Hafeez will protect himself by playing at No.3 spot which does not belongs to him , He is technically week against the good bowling line up , if he do not play test cricket it will not hurt Pakistan at all , Hafeez should be demoted to B category instead of Younis Khan.

    Pakistan cricket should make a bold decision and offer JAVED MIADAD a good contract as a batting coach untill world cup, I can see that now that Pakistan will lose the wc battle because of failure of batting line up this is for sure , Australian ground are much different than other countries , pitches are hard and bouncy which is not easy for batsman especially for Pakistani batting .

    We still have some time left we can get great JAVED experience , he can teach our batsman how to play in Australia . TAKE MY ADVISE.

  • Android on June 8, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    @sharjeel khan How does terming Younas khan as a test specialist equals to disrespecting him or our heroes or not acknowledging his performances. There is no need to get emotional as we always do. I want Pakistan to do well just as much as you do. And I honestly think he needs to concentrate on tests only. There have been several occasions when he has rescued Pakistan. But in Odis his stats speak more than my words here.I hope some sanity prevails now

  • world on June 8, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    How can be Younis Khan in category B. Learn from India . Till retirement Dravid and Laxman and Zaheer ( Still Playing ) were in Category A. The average player like Mohammad Hafeez is in Category A. Younis was lone warrior in South Africa. I believe he is much better batsman then any one in Pakistan Team . Pakistan has never given due respect to genuine test batsman Like younis and yusuf.

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    Younis Khan is a test specialist ....and many a times rescued pakistan from defeats either by drawing or winning ..... But his ODI and T20 credentials were always in question ....PCB considering his form and his experience should have given him Category A .....also the next world cup is in Australia, and players like younis can be a good option if any of our other senior players go bad ....

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    Unfair with irfan. He deserves better than 90k a month

  • Dummy4 on June 7, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    Younis khan is just few matches away from becoming Highest run getter in pakistan test history and most centuries for pakistan with least number of matches . In Eng India Saf & Aus test players of class like younis khan are highly appreciated and rewarded . Here most of the pakistani commenters are talking about his one day record and saying he deserves b category that shows why we are a mediocre test side as our own people dont acknowledge the worth of test cricket and cricketers . Same goes for pcb big hitters sloggers getting more than technical players of the game .

  • Pakistan on June 7, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    Afridi in A group. Looks like he is going to be our new T20 captain...

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