Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz lose Pakistan central contracts


Pakistan seamers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz have not had their central contracts renewed.

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced a list of 18 centrally contracted players across three categories for 2020-2021, with Azhar Ali retaining the Test captaincy and Babar Azam handed the white-ball reins.

Ali, Azam and Shaheen Afridi are the only players in Category A, with former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed demoted to Category B.

Amir, who has 259 wickets for Pakistan across all formats, retired from Tests in July 2019 but has been omitted from the Category C list for limited-overs players.

Left-armer Riaz has taken 228 wickets for his country and last appeared in a T20 international against Australia in November.

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said: “The philosophy and criteria for this merit-based central contract list was simple and straightforward: the selectors reviewed player performances in the past 12 months and then looked ahead to our team requirements in the forthcoming 12 months.

“The selectors have made the tough decisions to leave out Amir, Hasan (Ali) and Wahab but considering Hasan missed most of the season due to an injury and Amir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, this was the right move.

“However, Amir and Wahab are senior and experienced bowlers and they remain in contention as we believe they can still contribute to the Pakistan men’s cricket team and also mentor our young battery of fast bowlers.”