Shoaib Malik unlikely to get central contract

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is unlikely to offer a central contract to all-rounder Shoaib Malik after his poor showing in the ongoing Test series against England.

“The selectors are unhappy with Malik`s performance after he was recalled following the reversal of his ban and are not willing to recommend his name for the contract when they meet chairman Ejaz Butt later this month,” a PCB official was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune Monday.

Malik along with Mohammad Yousuf, Younus Khan and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were not given the new central contract and instead were slapped with fines and bans after the team`s performance on the winless Australian tour was reviewed.

Malik and Hasan were banned for one year before the former not only had his ban overturned but was also selected for the Asia Cup, thus increasing his chances of being awarded the contract.

However, the central contracts were to be reviewed last month but with the PCB chairman travelling to England, the meeting is now scheduled to take place later this month. Butt had previously said Malik will only get the central contract after approval by the selection committee.

Malik, one of the most experienced players in the team with 31 Tests and 192 One-Day Internationals, has scored just 89 runs in three Tests in England besides making 46 from his two outings in the Asia Cup that was held in Sri Lanka.

“The selection committee is not in favour of recommending Malik`s name, it is highly unlikely that the he will get the new contract until and unless he scores heavily in the remaining matches,” said the official while adding that the selectors want to recommend the name of youngsters when they meet the chairman to discuss central contracts.

“The PCB and the selection committee is interested in awarding central contracts to the youngsters and that is why they have already ruled out awarding a contract to fast-bowler Shoaib Akhter.”

He, however, said the selectors are undecided on Yousuf, who joined the team in England but is yet to be seen in action.