Misbah-ul-Haq defends omitting senior cricketers from PCB's central contracts list
Pakistan's head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has defended the axing of senior pacers Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali from the central contracts list. The former Pakistan skipper faced criticism from some quarters for the move to drop many senior players from the contracts list, however, Misbah clarified that the three would still be considered for selection. Here's more.
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
Misbah said it was the right move to leave out the senior pacers. "The selectors have made the tough decisions to leave out Amir, Hasan and Wahab but considering Hasan missed most of the season due to an injury and Amir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, this was the right move," Misbah said in a press release issued by the PCB.
Pacer Hasan was ruled out of the Test series against Sri Lanka last year after scans revealed multiple cortical rib fractures, involving the ninth rib on the right side and eighth and ninth ribs on the left side. Many believe that Wahab and Amir have been punished by the board for deciding to quit red-ball cricket last year. However, Misbah clarified on the same.
"However, Amir and Wahab are experienced bowlers and they remain in contention as we believe they can still contribute to the Pakistan cricket team and also mentor our young battery of fast bowlers," he added.
Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was demoted to category B with Misbah explaining that the veteran's experience will come handy for Pakistan in near future. "Sarfaraz has been placed in Category B as he very much features in our future plans." he said. "We have some tough cricket lined up over the next 12 months where we will potentially require Sarfaraz's knowledge and experience."
"The philosophy and criteria for this merit-based central contract list was simple and straightforward: the selectors reviewed player performances in the past 12 months and then looked ahead to our team requirements in the forthcoming 12 months," said Misbah.