Naseem Shah earns maiden central contract; Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz left out
Naseem Shah has been rewarded for his rousing introduction to Test cricket with a place in PCB's central contract list whereas the pace bowling duo of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz has been left out from the group of players.
Naseem became the youngest bowler to pick up a Test hat-trick earlier this year when he rattled the Bangladesh line-up in Rawalpindi. He made his international debut against Australia at The Gabba in November 2019 and impressed with his consistency to generate high speeds.
Meanwhile, Amir and Wahab join Hasan Ali as the three players to have been omitted from the central contract list, which remains valid July 1, 2020 to June 31, 2021.
Amir and Wahab both bowed out of the conventional red-ball format last year citing issues of workload management and fitness concerns in order to focus on limited-overs cricket. Subsequently, they were dropped from the T20I squad for the home series against Bangladesh.
“The selectors have made the tough decisions to leave out Amir, Hasan and Wahab but considering Hasan missed most of the season due to an injury and Amir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, this was the right move," said Pakistan chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq.
"However, Amir and Wahab are senior and experienced bowlers and they remain in contention as we believe they can still contribute to the Pakistan men’s cricket team and also mentor our young battery of fast bowlers."
Former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was sacked from his job as part of the post-2019 World Cup revamp, has been demoted from Category A to B while Shaheen Afridi and Azhar Ali have earned a promotion in the opposite direction.
PCB's central contract list for 2020-21:
Category A: Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Category B: Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah
Category C: Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Naseem Shah, Usman Shinwari
Emerging Players’ Category: Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain