The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday upgraded Test skipper Shan Masood’s category in the central contracts as the left-handed batter is ready to lead the Green Shirts in a three-match Test series on Australian soil.
Masood, 34, was named in category D after the initial list of centrally contracted players was released, but he has now been promoted to B category alongside the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Sarfaraz Ahmed and others.
“The PCB has decided to upgrade Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood's category in the central contract list from D to B. The decision has been made in line with board's policy that if a centrally contracted player below A or B categories is appointed captain, their contract shall be upgraded to category B for the tenure of their captaincy,” PCB said in a brief press release.
Shan was appointed captain of the Test cricket team after Babar Azam stepped down as a skipper from all formats. The left-handed batter will lead the team until the end of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle.
Shan, who represented Pakistan in 30 Test matches as of now, will take on his first assignment as skipper on December 14 when the first Test between the sides starts in Perth.
It must be noted that this will be Pakistan’s first Test tour to Australia since 2019 when they were battered 2-0 as the Green Shirts, under Azhar Ali’s captaincy, lost both games by an innings.
Pakistan have also never won a Test series in Australia in their entire history.
Pakistan squad for Australia Tests
Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi
Australia tour schedule:
Four-day match: PM’s XI vs Pakistan – December 6-9: Manuka Oval, Canberra
1st Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 14-18: Perth Stadium
2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)