Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has retained suspended off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and out-of-favour pacer Umar Gul in the central contracts list but surprisngly has not promoted the group of new players.
The PCB announced yesterday that the central contracts awarded to 31 players last year have been extended to March 31 this year. "A review of the players performances and their fitness reports would be considered after the World Cup and the new contracts will be given from April 1," a PCB official said.
But interestingly the PCB had decided against giving any promotions in categories to a group of players who have performed well in recent times including wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed, batsmen Haris Sohail and Sohaib Maqsood or pacer Rahat Ali who did well against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE.
They are still languishing in the lowest category D, while on other hand the board has decided to retain Ajmal, who has been suspended from international cricket since September last year, Gul and Abdul Rehman who have not played for the national team for a while now.
Ironically wicketkeeper, Adnan Akmal, who last played in February last year in a Test against Sri Lanka, before returning home injured is retained in Category C above
Sarfaraz who replaced him and has done remarkably well.
Ajmal who will be appearing for a final bowling test on January 24 in Chennai in a bid to get his bowling action cleared by the ICC remains in the top category with Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Hafeez and Junaid Khan.
Category A: Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Junaid Khan.
Category B: Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul.
Category C: Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Adnan Akmal, Khurram Manzoor, Nasir Jamshed, Abdul Rehman.
Category D: Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfraz Ahmed, Bilawal Bhatti, Sharjeel Khan, Zulfiqar Babar, Fawad Alam, Ehsan Adil, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Raza Hasan, Umar Amin, Haris Sohail, Rahat Ali, Shan Masood, Mohammad Talha, Anwar Ali, Yasir Shah and Sohail Khan.