Pakistan board dishes out new central contracts
Pakistan test and limited-overs captain Misbah-ul-Haq and flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi were among five players given top category A contracts by the Pakistan Cricket Board overnight.
Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan were the other players in the top category as the PCB announced central contracts to 31 players in four categories.
Experienced middle order batsman Younis Khan was demoted to category B, which also includes Ahmad Shahzad, Umar Akmal and Umar Gul.
The PCB's director of international Zakir Khan, chief selector Moin Khan and camp commandant Mohammad Akram selected the contracted players after evaluating their fitness during a month-long training camp in Lahore.
''The committee took three factors into consideration while finalizing the list; form and performance, fitness level and future potential,'' Zakir Khan said.
Test specialists Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, Khurram Manzoor, Nasir Jamshed and Abdul Rehman were awarded category C contracts.
Fast bowlers Mohammad Irfan, Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali were among the notable players in the list of 16 players which were given category D contracts.
The PCB has increased the monthly salaries and test match fees for all categories by 25 percent while remuneration for ODIs has been raised by 10 percent.
Players will also be offered increased win bonuses - from 200 to 250 percent - for winning a series against the three top-ranked teams in the world as well as against archrivals India. The contracts will be effective from January 1 this year.
Category A: Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Junaid Khan.
Category B: Younis Khan, Ahmad Shahzad, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul.
Category C: Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Adnan Akmal, Khurram Manzoor, Nasir Jamshed, Abdul Rehman.
Category D: Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Bilawal Bhatti, Sharjeel Khan, Zulfiqar Babar, Fawad Alam, Ehsan Adil, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Raza Hasan, Umar Amin, Harris Sohail, Rahat Ali, Shaan Masood, Mohammad Talha, Anwar Ali.