The Pakistan Cricket Board stated on Thursday that Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi have been assigned to Category A of the recently announced white-ball and red-ball contracts. The agreement will be binding as of July 1. Separate red and white-ball contracts have been implemented by the PCB, and the Emerging Category now includes four more players. As a result, 33 players in total—13 more than the previous season—have signed contracts for the next 12 months.

Both red and white-ball contracts have been given to Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi. From a roster of 20 players last year, the PCB has expanded the number of centrally contracted players to 33 this year. Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan were included in Category A of the exclusive white-ball contracts list. While Abid Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shan Masood, and Yasir Shah received Category D contracts, Fawad Alam and Nauman Ali were kept in Categories B and C, respectively.

White-ball contracts have been given to eleven limited-overs specialists.

“I want to congratulate all those who have earned central contracts for the 2022–23 season, especially our four younger players who have received red-ball contracts for the first time as part of our vision and strategy to identify, groom, and develop specialists for the traditional and purest format of the game,” said chief selector Muhammad Wasim in a formal statement.

“I recognize that some players who lost out on contracts may be dissatisfied, but I want to stress that we are not constrained to just 33 individuals. Players from outside the list will be added as necessary, “added he. We have also increased the number of players in our developing cricketer category from three to seven since it is crucial for us to develop players with the potential to play at the highest level and to reward those who have performed well in our domestic competitions, according to Wasim.