PCB delays team contracts pending inquiry into Oz tour failure

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Lahore, Feb.18 (ANI): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said that it will not award annual central contracts to its cricketers until the release of a report into the team's defeats in Australia.

Pakistan was thrashed 3-0 in Tests, 5-0 in one-day matches and lost the only Twenty20 match.

The Daily Times quoted PCB COO Wasim Bari, as saying that the contracts would be awarded to players only after the inquiry report is submitted later this month.

"We will announce the central contracts only after the submission of the inquiry report so that there is no conflict between the two," Bari was quoted as saying.

Bari heads both the evaluation and the three-man central contract committees. The evaluation committee met twice last week, discussing reports from team manager Abdul Raqeeb and coach Intikhab Alam.

It also heard from Test and one-day captain Mohammad Yousuf, Younus Khan, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umer Akmal, Salman Butt besides interviewing assistant coach Aaqib Javed and team physio Faisal Hayat.

Bari said the committee will meet again after the team returns from Dubai, where they will play two Twenty20 matches against England on Friday and Saturday.

Pakistan last year awarded annual contracts to 27 players, nine in the top 'A' category, four in 'B' and 14 in the 'C' category.

The likely omission from the new list will be controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who was last year kept in the top category despite playing only four Twenty20 internationals.

He missed all of Pakistan's other commitments through injury in 2008.

Akhtar's pace partner Mohammad Asif, who was not given a central contract last year due to a doping ban imposed for a failed drug test in the Indian Premier League, is expected to get his contract back this time. (ANI)

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