Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a list of 17 players that will be handed a central contract. The contract, beginning on January 1, is valid for six months, expiring on June 30. These contracts have been issued after solving all remaining payments of the previous contract.
A committee consisting of four members was set up to to make all the decisions concerning the central contracts. It included Mr. Haroon Rashid- Director Cricket Operations, Jalaluddin- the teams selector-in-chief, Mark Coles- the head coach of Pakistan's squad, and Asmavia Iqbal- a former player, who is now a member of the selection committee. The decisions were to be made on the basis of performance during the previous six months, since the last contracts were handed out.
Judging by the performances in this time frame, leg-spinner Ghulam Fatima, wicketkeeper-batter Fareeha Mahmood, Maham Tariq and Rameen Shamin all lost their contracts. Omaima Sohail, an emerging talent, who has shown positive intent with the bat since making her debut against Australia in 2018, was the only new name added to the list.
Both, Batter Sidra Amin and all-rounder Aliya Riaz have been upgraded to category C. Meanwhile, top-order batter Muneeba Ali Siddique has been shifted from category C to D.
Following the announcement of the names, Mr. Rashid said, "I want to congratulate all the women cricketers who have been awarded the central contracts and wish them well. The new contracts are more competitive and further incentivize the top performing players. This is part of the PCB’s strategy to encourage and promote women’s cricket. The PCB will continue to invest in women’s cricket as we aspire to be one of the top and consistent performing sides.”
Skipper Bismah Maroof seconded Mr. Rashid's sentiments, asserting it was the sides top priority to improve and grow as, while also building a formidable bench strength. She expressed that these contracts would go a long way in enabling that to happen.
During the time of this contract, Pakistan's team- currently ranked No. 7 in both formats of the game- will play the West Indies at home, before touring South Africa. Both these series' are a part of the ICC Women's Championship. Bangladesh are also expected to play Pakistan in March.
PCB List of Contracted Players: Pakistan Women’s Cricket National Team
- Category A– Bismah Maroof, Javeria Khan, Nahida Khan, Sana Mir
- Category B– Nashra Sundhu, Nida Dar, Sidra Nawaz
- Category C– Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Diana Baig, Omaima Sohail, Sidra Amin
- Category D– Aimen Anwar, Ayesha Zafar, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Natalia Pervaiz