In a major shake up, the Pakistan Cricket Board has omitted around five leading players, including former captain Shahid Afridi, from the list of new centrally contracted players for the next six-month term.
According to well placed sources in the PCB the board had finalised the list of players to be awarded central contracts from July to December and it does not include atleast six players who were given contracts in the first half of 2011.
"The likes of Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar are out because they have announced their retirements while players like Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq and Ahmed Shahzad have not got the nod from the selectors this time because of number of issues, mainly inconsistent form and performances," one source disclosed.
The source added that former captain Shoaib Malik could get a central contract if he is cleared by the integrity committee for national selection on August 15.
"The finalised list includes some new names but the major omissions are Razzaq and Kamran because of their performances," he said.
He also confirmed that the board had not followed ICC Task Force's advise on Pakistan cricket while finalising the list of new contracts.
The ICC Task Force had suggested that PCB should only award contracts to 20 players but the board has decided to ignore this recommendation because of its own policies.
Interestingly, Afridi, Razzaq, Akhtar and Kamran had all been given A category contracts by the board in the first half of the year, which entitled them to get a monthly retainer of around 250,000 rupees.
"Younus Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Gul, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and perhaps Malik will get A category contracts while the rest will get contracts in the B and C categories," the source said.
Taufeeq Umar, Imran Farhat, Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Sohail Tanvir, Junaid Khan, Sohail Khan, Abdul Rehman, Tanvir Ahmed, Wahab Riaz and Junaid Khan are among the remaining players expected to get new contracts.
"Players like Khurrum Manzoor, Aizaz Cheema, Fawad Alam etc are likely to get retainers not contracts," the source said.