Azhar, Malik score category A contracts

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Pakistan's ODI captain Azhar Ali and allrounder Shoaib Malik have been given category A contracts by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) while spinner Saeed Ajmal was demoted to category B.

Azhar, who was appointed ODI skipper after Misbah-ul-Haq retired after the World Cup earlier this year, has been promoted after he was on a category C contract last season.

Malik has not had a national contract for many years but made a comeback to the Pakistan 50-over team, and scored a century, against Zimbabwe in May.

Left-arm seamer Junaid Khan was also demoted to a category B contract while fast bowler Umar Gul was a notable omission from the 27-man list.

The PCB said in a statement: "This bunch is a blend of seasoned players with proven credentials and emerging talent with potential to represent Pakistan across three formats.

"The remunerations – both the monthly retainer as well as match fees – have been increased across the board along with restoring the win bonuses and performance incentives."

Category A: Azhar Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan

Category B: Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah

Category C: Anwar Ali, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaan Masood, Umar Akmal

Category D: Babar Azam, Sami Aslam, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Amin, Zulfiqar Babar

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