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Mohammad Hafeez declines PCB central contract offer

February 24, 2021 GMT
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Lahore Qalandars Mohammad Hafeez, left plays a shot while Quetta Gladiators Sarfraz Ahmed watches during a Pakistan Super League T20 cricket match between Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators at the National Stadium, in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
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Lahore Qalandars Mohammad Hafeez, left plays a shot while Quetta Gladiators Sarfraz Ahmed watches during a Pakistan Super League T20 cricket match between Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators at the National Stadium, in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Twenty20 specialist Mohammad Hafeez has declined a central contract offer from the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The allrounder “politely turned down” a contract offer in category C for 2020-21, the cricket board said Wednesday.

“While I am disappointed, I fully respect his decision,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in a statement. “Hafeez has been one of our star performers of the season and we hope he will carry the form and momentum to Africa.”

Hafeez was the world’s top scorer in Twenty20 internationals last year, but he didn’t feature in the recent Twenty20 series against South Africa after failing to join the team in its bio-secure bubble in time.

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan and lefthanded batsman Fawad Alam got promotions in the updated list of central contracts after their impressive performances last year.

Rizwan joined all-format captain Babar Azam, Azhar Ali and Shaheen Afridi in category A while Fawad, who had earlier only a domestic cricket contract, was elevated in category C.

Since the contracts were announced in May last year, Rizwan is the leading scorer for Pakistan in test matches with 529 runs in seven matches and 325 runs in Twenty20 internationals.

Alam, who was recalled to test matches last year after a 10-year absence, scored centuries in test matches against New Zealand and during the home series against South Africa.

The decision to promote players was taken by the PCB after Khan met with the chairman of selectors Mohammad Wasim and reviewed players’ performance during the 2020-21 season.

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Category A: Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi.

Category B: Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Abbas, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shan Masood and Yasir Shah.

Category C: Fakhar Zaman, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Naseem Shah and Usman Shinwari.

Emerging Players’ Category: Haider Ali, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain.

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