Akmal, a few others set to miss PCB central contracts
Karachi: Some senior Pakistan players such as Kamran Akmal may not be given central contracts for the year 2014 as the Cricket Board and national selectors have decided to reward in-form younger players.
A official of the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed that the selectors had been told to prepare a preliminary list of 20 to 25 players to be considered for the new central contracts.
"Once the selectors submit the list it will be debated upon by the interim management committee of the board and finally approved by the acting Chairman o the board," the official said.
The Board handed out central contracts in 2012 and 2013 after delays but the official said in the new year, the contracts would be given out before the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20 Championship in Bangladesh in February.
With many new faces being selected in the national team for either of the three formats, a well-informed source in the Board said some seasoned players might be axed from the contracts list.
These unlucky players could include Aizaz Cheema, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Taufiq Umar, Imran Farhat and some others who have not been picked regularly in recent times despite being given central contracts.
As many as 21 players received central contracts (A, B and C categories) in 2013 in addition to nine players who were included in the stipend category.
"Obviously players like Sohaib Maqsood, Rahat Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Zulfiqar Babar, Anwar Ali, Haris Sohail, Khurrum Manzoor and Shaan
Masood who made the national team in some format this year will be given central contracts with monthly salaries," the source said.
He also said the Board will not increase the number of players to be given central contracts because of the financial crunch right now.
"A player`s contribution this year and his effectiveness in future will be judged before offering him another deal with the new players who have made their debuts or comebacks this year being given priority," another source said.
However, seniors like Misbah-ul-Haq, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Hafeez, Younis Khan and Umar Gul will be placed in the top category.
Presently the category A players take home a monthly salary of around Rs 330,000 with lucrative match fees as well.