Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced central contracts for the women’s team. The number of players dropped to 9 from last year’s 10. However, all the players have been given a pay raise. Middle-order batter Bismah Maroof has been retained as captain.
Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan were awarded A category contracts. Whereas, Aliya Riaz, Sidra Nawaz, and Diana Baig were selected for the B category. Nida Dar who played in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) was dropped from category A to C because of “below-par season”. With her in category C are Umaima Sohail, Anam Amin, and Nadiha Khan. Batter Sidra Ameen and left-arm spinner Nashra Sandhu both missed out.
Category A players have been given a raise by a third. Whereas category B and C players were given a raise of 30% and 25% each. Moreover, domestic players were handed a significant boost as match fees and event prize money was doubled and daily allowances also saw an increase of 50%.
Besides the nine emerging players, were awarded retainer contracts. It includes Ayesha Naseem, Fatima Sana, Kainat Hafeez, Muneeba Ali Siddiqui, Najiha Alvi, Rameen Shamim, Saba Nazir, Sadia Iqbal and Syeda Aroob Shah.
Women’s chief selector Urooj Mumtaz said: “On behalf of the selection committee, I would like to congratulate all the players who have received the central contracts. The selection committee had detailed deliberations prior to announcing the central contracts. International performances over the past 12 months, fitness standards and the players’ ability to contribute in both white ball formats were key measures that formed the criteria for the selection.
“Bismah and Javeria have been promoted to Category A, following leading performances with the bat in the last year. Diana Baig has been promoted to Category B and she joins Aliya Riaz and Sidra Nawaz – both of whom have been retained in this category – as she topped the T20I bowling charts for Pakistan in the last 12 months.
“We had to make some tough decisions and would like to emphasise and encourage those who have missed out to take this as an opportunity to improve their game and make a strong comeback. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Bismah Maroof on retaining her leadership role in both ODI and T20 formats for the upcoming season. She has been a phenomenal performer and has risen to the occasion whenever the situation demanded.
“I am extremely delighted to announce the emerging contract category. The addition of this category will incentivise players to remain dedicated to the game, importantly increasing the pool of players and creating a competitive environment at the junior level.”
In the next 12 months, the team is set to feature in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier and the ACC Women’s T20 Cup.