Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez
Mohammad Hafeez Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: All-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik were omitted from the list of 19 players who were awarded central contracts for the 2019-20 season by the Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday.

Malik was in the top category A last season, but has already retired from test cricket and ODIs while Hafeez, who was in category B in the last season, was also left out.

The PCB trimmed the list to 19 from 33 players who were given central contracts last season.

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"Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have not been offered contracts but they will remain available for selection," the PCB said in a statement.

Only captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, batsman Babar Azam and leg-spinner Yasir Shah were retained in category A.

Test opener Azhar Ali and Mohammad Amir, who announced retirement from test cricket last week, were demoted in category B and C respectively.

TAB 190619 Shoaib Malik-1560926394328
Shoaib Malik

The PCB said that players' performance and fitness during the last 12 months and "the formats they are likely to represent Pakistan in the upcoming season was taken into consideration" while awarding the contracts.

"The PCB has set high standards and targets in its strategic plan for the upcoming season," PCB managing director Wasim Khan said.

"We want to attach a high value to receiving a central contract. We have complete faith and confidence that these players will set-up and produce on-field performances that will help us collectively achieve our objectives and targets."

Pakistan will play six World Test Championship matches, three ODIs and nine Twenty20s over the next year against Sri Lanka, Australia and Bangladesh.

Pakistan contracted players:

Category A: Babar Azam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah"

Category B: Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Abbas, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Wahab Riaz"

Category C: Abid Ali, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Usman Shinwari.