PCB announces central contracts, Babar Azam named ODI captain
Top order batsman Babar Azam has been named the captain of Pakistan's ODI team. The decision came ahead of Pakistan Cricket Board's central contracts announcement. The 25-year-old will now lead the charge of both limited-overs side. Meanwhile, opener Azhar Ali retains the captaincy in Test cricket. Earlier, Babar replaced former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed as skipper of the T20I side. Here is more.
Naseem Shah included in PCB's central contracts
Teen sensation Naseem Shah has been included in Pakistan's 18-member national contracts list for 2020-21. Batsman Iftikhar Ahmed is yet another entrant in the elite list. Pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi has been promoted to Category A, while Abid Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood are the other players to have gained promotions. Notwithstanding, Babar and Azhar have retained their spot in Category A.
Chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq congratulates Babar and Azhar
"I want to congratulate Azhar Ali and Babar Azam for getting captaincy extensions. This is the right decision as they also require certainty and clarity on their future roles. I am sure they will can build sides that can perform at expected levels," Misbah-ul-Haq said.
PCB leave out Amir, Hasan and Wahab
PCB has snubbed experienced seamers Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz from the list. While Amir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, Hasan's graph has plummeted with perpetual injuries. As expected, Sarfaraz Ahmed has been demoted to Category B. He was removed as captain of Pakistan's Test and T20I teams. Notably, Pakistan crashed out of the 2019 World Cup under him.
Here is the Men's central contracts 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
Full list of PCB's central contracts
Amir and Wahab remain in contention: Misbah-ul-Haq
Misbah-ul-Haq hopes the likes of Amir, Wahab and Sarfaraz will be handy for Pakistan in future. "Amir and Wahab remain in contention as we believe they can still contribute also mentor our young battery of fast bowlers," he said. He added, "We have some tough cricket lined up over the next 12 months where we will potentially require Sarfaraz's knowledge and experience."