Pakistan’s veteran warhorse Mohammad Hafeez is reportedly unhappy and is considering retirement after his recent demotion in the players’ categories in the freshly-rolled out central contracts by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Also Read - Virat Kohli Was a 'Brat' Like Me, Shoaib Akhtar Lauds India Captain's Spectacular Transformation Into Modern Day Legend
The controversial cricket board has replaced Hafeez with a young rising star, Babar Azam in the Category A. Azhar Ali, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah and Mohammad Amir also managed to retain their places as category A players. Also Read - Michael Holding Blasts England And Australia For Not Taking a Knee
In the new central contracts, PCB has raised the monthly salaries for each of its categories ranging between 25-30% and has also increased its players match fees by 20% across all categories. On Monday, the PCB had announced new central contracts for the upcoming year July 2018- June 2019 by including a total of 33 players across five categories of the central contract. Also Read - Shoaib Akhtar to Replace Misbah-ul-Haq as Pakistan Cricket Team's Chief Selector, Former Pacer Says 'Discussions On' With PCB
Hafeez had been a regular recipient of the PCB’s top category contract, but the board’s decision to demote him hasn’t gone down well with the 37-year old all-rounder. The PCB dropped Hafeez from category A to category B in the annual central contact given to players for a period of one year.
As per the local media reports, sources close to the Hafeez said that the cricketer has considered the demotion an insult to him because he had been performing up to the mark to win several honours for the country.
“Hafeez felt upset over the decision, and now he is disillusioned due to discriminatory treatment and, as a result, cannot continue to keep on playing. Mohammad Hafeez will not sign the central contract,” local media quoted the sources as saying.
During a five-match series against Zimbabwe last month, Hafeez refused to play the fifth match of the series after he was included in the team for the first four matches of the series.
Hafeez has played 50 Tests, 200 One-day International and 83 Twenty20 International matches for Pakistan during his career since making debut for the national side in 2003.
Another big name who missed out on the central contracts is – Ahmed Shehzad, who is provisionally suspended for a doping violation and awaits a hearing.
Young members of the Pakistan team, such as Faheem Ashraf, double centurion Fakhar Zaman and left-armer Shadab Khan have been promoted to category B. Imam-ul-Haq, who impressed on his first Test tour of Ireland and England, and continued his promising white-ball form in Zimbabwe, rose to category C.
A new category, “E”, has been added to the central contracts to recognize performers on the domestic circuit and to encourage the continuing development of emerging cricketers from the junior level.
Complete list of Players and Categories:-
Azhar Ali, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Babar Azam and Mohammad Amir.
Muhammad Hafeez, Faheem Ashraf, Asad Shafiq, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan.
Muhammad Abbas, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Haris Sohail, Imamul Haq, Muhammad Nawaz, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaan Masood and Imad Wasim.
Rumman Raees, Asif Ali, Rahat Ali, Usman Salahuddin and Hussain Talat.
Bilal Asif, Saad Ali, Muhammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sahibzada Farhan, Umaid Asif and Mir Hamza.
(With Agency Inputs)