Four Uncapped players earn maiden Pakistan Central Contract

Muneeba Ali and Sidra Amin earn promotions while Aliya Riaz and Diana Biag get demoted. Match fee sees a 100 percent hike in ODIs and 50 percent in T20Is.

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Anoosha Nasir, Syeda Aroob Shah and Shawaal Zulfiqar (L-R) earn maiden central contract © Getty Images

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced central contracts for its players, which will now be a 23-month-long contract instead of their regular one-year contract. 

The performance of the players will be evaluated after a year with the contract term starting on August 1, 2023, and terminating on June 30, 2025. Like last year, 20 players have been contracted and have been categorized into four groups: A, B, C, and an emerging group, D.

Four uncapped players have earned their maiden contracts, including Anoosha Nasir, Eyman Fatima, and Shawaal Zulfiqar, who represented Pakistan in the ICC U19 World Cup 2023. Wicket-keeper Najiha Alvi is the fourth uncapped player to receive the contract. 

“The extended duration reflects our anticipation of an action-packed international cricket calendar. We want our women cricketers to be fully prepared, physically and mentally, to face every challenge and celebrate every triumph that comes their way," said Tania Mallick, Head of Women’s Cricket (PCB). 

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In Group A, a 19 percent increment in the salaries has been provided. Captain Nida Dar and experienced player Bismah Maroof have retained their spots in this category. Sidra Amin, who is the second-highest run-getter in the ongoing ICC Championship cycle, has been promoted from Group C to Group A. It is noteworthy that Amin scored an unbeaten 176 against Ireland in November 2022, which is the highest individual score by a Pakistani batter in the one-day format. 

Group B has witnessed a 32 percent increase in their payment. Muneeba Ali, the first and only centurion from Pakistan in T20I cricket, has moved up to Group B. Fatima Sana, a pace-bowling all-rounder who captained Pakistan in the ACC Women's Emerging Teams Asia Cup, has retained her place along with left-arm spinner Nashra Sandhu. Aliya Riaz has slipped down from Group A to Group B. 

Group C also has seen a 19 percent increment. Wicketkeeper-batter Sidra Nawaz has retained her place, while Diana Baig, who has been out of the team due to a finger injury, has been demoted from Group B to Group C. Another notable movement includes Omaima Sohail moving from Group B to Group C.

The largest category, Group D, includes eight members. There has been a 21 percent increase in the players' salary in this category. Leg-spinner Tuba Hasan and right-handed batter Sadaf Shamas have retained their places. New additions to the group include left-arm spinner Anoosha Nasir, right-handed batters Eyman Fatima and Shawaal Zulfikar, wicket-keeper Najiha Alvi, and off-spinner Umm-e-Hani. Skipper of the ICC U19 World Cup, Syeda Aroob Shah, has made a comeback into the list of contracted players after missing out last year.

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“The selection committee is pleased to announce the names of the contracted players considering the extensive cricketing calendar that lies ahead. We believe in the development of emerging talent, and these new contracts aim to give confidence to these players as they prepare for the upcoming season," said Saleem Jaffar, Chair of the Women’s Selection Committee. 

Five players, Anam Amin, Gull Feroza, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, and Kainat Imtiaz, have failed to retain this year's central contract. They have been awarded the first-ever 11-month domestic contracts. Ayesha Naseem, who retired from international cricket, is the sixth player who has been left out of the contract.

In addition, there is a 100 percent increase in the match fee for players involved in an ODI match (playing and non-playing), while there is a 50 percent increase in match fees for players in a T20I match (playing and non-playing). 

List of centrally contracted players 2023-25:

Category A (3) - Bismah Maroof, Nida Dar and Sidra Amin

Category B (4) - Aliya Riaz, Fatima Sana, Muneeba Ali and Nashra Sundhu

Category C (5) - Diana Baig, Ghulam Fatima, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal and Sidra Nawaz

Category D (8) - Anoosha Nasir, Eyman Fatima, Najiha Alvi, Sadaf Shamas, Shawaal Zulfiqar, Syeda Aroob Shah, Tuba Hassan and Umm-e-Hani 

Pakistan's next assignment commences on September 1 as they host a Laura Wolvaardt-led South Africa for three ODIs and three T20Is in Karachi.