The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made some changes to its list of central contracts for male players. They have added five new players, bringing the total number of players under contracts to 30. These contracts will be in effect from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2026, spanning three years.
The initial list of 25 players was chosen by the previous management committee led by Najam Sethi. However, the new committee, headed by Mr. Zaka Ashraf, decided to review and update the list. The new additions to the list are Abrar Ahmed, Noman Ali, Tayyab Tahir, Aamir Jamal, and Arshad Iqbal, each falling into different contract categories.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, a former captain, has been promoted from Category D to Category B. This change reflects his important role as Pakistan’s primary wicket-keeper batsman in Test cricket. He has performed exceptionally well, earning the title of player of the series in recent matches against New Zealand.
Abrar Ahmed and Noman Ali have been placed in Category C due to their consistent performance in Pakistan’s Test team over the past year. Abrar is a mystery spinner who has taken 38 wickets in six matches since his debut, while Noman Ali, a left-arm spinner, has secured 17 wickets in four games in the last year.
Aamir Jamal, Arshad Iqbal, and Tayyab Tahir, who are in Category D, continue to be part of the national selection committee’s plans for the future.
Here’s the updated list of players with their respective contract categories:
Category A: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi
Category B: Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Shadab Khan
Category C: Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, and Noman Ali
Category D: Aamir Jamal, Arshad Iqbal, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Usama Mir, and Zaman Khan.
The players will receive significantly increased monthly retainers, with a share of ICC revenue included in their overall monthly earnings. While the financial model for these contracts will be fixed for three years, the list of players will be reviewed after the first 12 months. The previous central contract cycle expired on June 30, and the new agreement has been effective since July 1, 2023.