LAHORE, Pakistan: Pakistan national cricket team all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez has taken the decision not to sign the new Players Central Contracts announced by the country’s cricket board.
It should be noted that although Muhammad Hafeez has given a hint to leave, he hasn’t forwarded any official resignation document or letter t0 the board.
The cricketer made the shocking announcement after he was demoted from Category A to Category B in the centrally contracted players’ list announced by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB.)
According to the PCB press release, the list, for the 2018-19 season, was finalised by the central contracts selection committee comprising Director Cricket Operations Haroon Rashid, chief selector Inzamamul Haq and Director Academies Mudassar Nazar and was approved by PCB Chairman Najam Sethi.
Prolific batsman Babar Azam has been rewarded for his efforts as he has been elevated to the top category. He joins captain Sarfraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Shoaib Malik, Yasir Shah and Mohammad Amir — all of whom have retained their status.
Hafeez, who has played 50 Tests and 283 limited overs internationals, has struggled for runs recently. The right-handed batsman played his last Test in 2016.
Pakistan’s young brigade has slowly started displacing Hafeez in the limited-overs formats also. He last featured in an ODI in January this year.
Even though he was part of Pakistan’s squad on their tour to Zimbabwe last month, he did not feature in any of the five ODIs. He was also dropped after the first two matches of the tri-series — also involving Zimbabwe and Australia — on the same trip.
The recent heroics of left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman, who became the first Pakistani batsman to score a double century in ODIs, earned him a promotion to Category B. Also joining him were leg-spinner Shadab Khan and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.
Islamabad’s all-rounder Imad Wasim had been out of international cricket because of injury and that has cost him in the shape of a demotion to Category C.
There are six players each in Categories A and B, nine in C and five in D. According to a PCB press release, now there is also a seven-player Category E “to recognise performers on the Domestic Circuit as well as to encourage the continuing development of emerging cricketers from the Junior Cricket Level”.
A player in Category A will earn around Rs875,000 per month while cricketers in Categories B, C, D and E will get roughly Rs575,000, Rs390,000, Rs195,000 and Rs100,000, respectively.
The PCB press release adds: The 2017-18 financial year marked the conclusion of a three-year financial formula agreed between the PCB and its players. In concert with the players’ representatives — captain Sarfraz Ahmed and senior player Shoaib Malik — the PCB is pleased to inform that it has reached a fresh three-year financial remuneration agreement with its players.
In the new central contracts, the PCB has raised the monthly remuneration for each of its categories ranging between 25-30% and has also increased its players’ match fees by 20% across the categories. An agreed percentage increase will also be given to the players in years two and three of the new agreement.
A: Azhar Ali, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir.
B: Muhammad Hafeez, Faheem Ashraf, Asad Shafiq, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan.
C: Muhammad Abbas, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Haris Sohail, Imamul Haq, Muhammad Nawaz, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shan Masood, Imad Wasim.
D: Rumman Raees, Asif Ali, Rahat Ali, Usman Salahuddin, Hussain Talat.
E: Bilal Asif, Saad Ali, Muhammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sahibzada Farhan, Umaid Asif, Mir Hamza.