|PCB awards central contracts, stipends to 37 players|
LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has awarded central contracts to 37 players but it ignored five senior cricketers Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and former captains Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik while announcing the central contracts here on Friday.
The PCB has placed 18 players in three categories while 19 cricketers have succeeded in getting special monthly stipends.
Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Salman Butt, Abdul Razzaq, Mohamamd Asif and Danish Kaneria were placed in "A" category and they will earn Rs250,000 a month.
Umer Akmal, Mohammad Aamir, Saeed Ajmal, Faisal Iqbal, Misbah-ul-Haq and Imran
Farhat have been given "B" category and they are entitled to a monthly salary of Rs175,000.
Fawad Alam, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz and Abdul Rehman have been placed in "C" category, which brings a monthly salary of Rs100,000.
Nineteen promising cricketers will receive special monthly stipends of Rs50,000. They include Test cricketers Khalid Lateef, Khurram Manzoor and Sarfaraz Ahmed along with the players of under-19 team Azeem Ghumman, Hammad Azam, Babar Azam, Raza hasan, Sarmad Bhatti and Usman Qadir.
The central contracts will be effective for one year starting from January 1, 2010.
Senior cricketers Shoaib Akhtar, Rana Naved, imran Nazir and Sohail Tanvir besides former captains Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf were deprived of central contracts.
Younus and Yousuf were banned indefinitely for "infighting which resulted in bringing down" the team but the PCB said they could return after a review.
Former captain Shoaib Malik and all-rounder Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were also banned for a year on charges of violating the code of conduct, widely reported in the local media as match-fixing.
Three other penalised cricketers -- Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umer Akmal -- were lucky to retain their contracts after they were heavily fined and put on a six-month probation by the inquiry committee.
Paceman Mohammad Asif won back his contract following a failed doping test in the Indian Premier League in 2008 which resulted in a one-year ban.
Dope-tainted paceman Shoaib Akhtar was excluded from the list and missed most of Pakistan matches last year due to injury and discipline problems.
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