Sarfaraz Ahmed likely to be promoted in central contracts

PCB confirmed a list of 25 cricketers as part of the revamped central contracts last month

October 04, 2023
Sarfaraz Ahmed plays a shot. — AFP

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to bring some changes to the Central Contracts they announced in the last week of September by changing the categories of some players and adding others, sources reported on Wednesday.

PCB confirmed a list of 25 cricketers as part of the revamped central contracts and surprisingly Test spinners Nauman Ali and Abrar Ahmed were not part of it. Meanwhile, first-team player Iftikhar Ahmed and former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed were placed in the D category while Imad Wasim was in the C category.

The PCB was criticised by fans for omitting Test spinners and putting the likes of Iftikhar and Sarfaraz in the D category and, as per the latest developments, the PCB is likely to make changes as hinted previously by the Chairman of the PCB Management Committee Zaka Ashraf, by including the likes of Abrar, Nauman, Zahid Mehmood and five others.

The national cricketing body is also likely to change Sarfaraz’s category from D to B.

As per the sources close to PCB, the list was prepared by Haroon Rasheed’s selection committee.

However, if what PCB sources are saying is true, then Rasheed’s committee was sacked almost two months prior to the time when the Ashraf-led PCB committee announced the contracts which is why the question of who approved the list arises.

Remember, before leaving for the World Cup, players and PCB had successfully negotiated a three-year central contacts deal. They have been offered a momentous deal that will include a portion of ICC revenue. Red-ball and white-ball contracts have also been merged.

The list of players is divided into four categories with significant increases in monthly retainers. Revenue from ICC will be incorporated in overall monthly remuneration.

Category A (3 players): 202 %

Category B (6): 144 %

Category C (2): 135 %

Category D (14): 127 %

List of players with categories offered contracts:

Category A: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi

Category B: Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan

Category C: Imad Wasim and Abdullah Shafique

Category D: Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmad, Saud Shakeel, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Usama Mir and Zaman Khan

Players’ match fees will also see a major hike: 50% increment in Test, 25% in ODI and 12.5% in T20I.

Centrally contracted players who are playing domestic cricket will be paid 50% of the international match fee. In addition, players will be allowed to play two foreign leagues in each season.

The three-year tenure of the contacts will have its financial model locked for the term. Player performance however will be reviewed after every 12 months. The previous cent