Pakistan duo Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez have lost their central contracts for the 2019-20 international campaign.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday announced the list of centrally contracted players has been reduced from 33 to 19.

Batsman Babar Azam, captain Sarfraz Ahmed and spinner Yasir Shah are the only three to be given a top-level Category A deal.

Shoaib and Hafeez were overlooked a day after it was announced head coach Mickey Arthur would depart his role along with bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden.

Experienced all-rounders Shoaib and Hafeez will still be available for selection in a new era for Pakistan.

PCB managing director Wasim Khan said: "I want to congratulate all those who have been offered central contracts for the next season.

"We have significantly increased the financial value of the 2019-20 retainers across each category. This is over and above what had been agreed in the current agreement, which is due to run until 2021.

"The PCB have set high standards and targets in its strategic plan for the upcoming season. We want to attach a high value to receiving a central contract. We have complete faith and confidence that these players will set up and produce on-field performances that will help us collectively achieve our objectives and targets."

The contracts run from August 1 2019 to June 30 2020, the PCB said, with Pakistan playing Tests and limited-overs matches against Sri Lanka, Australia and Bangladesh in that period.

 

Pakistan's centrally contracted players for 2019-20:

Category A – Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah

Category B – Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Abbas, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz

Category C – Abid Ali, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Usman Shinwari

Pakistan veteran Shoaib Malik has announced his retirement from ODI cricket after his side's World Cup campaign ended.

A 94-run win over Bangladesh at Lord's on Friday was not enough to see Pakistan force their way into the semi-finals at New Zealand's expense.

Malik, 37, did not play having lost his place in the side earlier in the tournament and he confirmed after the match he will no longer be available for selection in ODI cricket.

"As I mentioned in my previous interviews, whenever I gave interviews, that I'm going to retire from World Cup cricket. Today was our last game, and I'm retiring from ODI cricket," Malik said in a statement made at a news conference.

"I had planned this for a few years ago to retire on the last Pakistan World Cup match. I'm sad that I'll be leaving the format of cricket that I once loved, but happy that I'll have more time to spend with my family. This will also allow me to focus on Twenty20 cricket.

"I would like to thank some of the most important people whose support and backing helped me through these 20 years of international cricket.

"Starting with the players I shared dressing rooms with, all the coaches I have under, my friends and family, the media, my sponsors, the Pakistan cricket board and Pakistan sports board.

"But most importantly, my fans. I love you all. Thank you."

Malik insisted he is not disappointed to have made such little impact in his last World Cup, having taken a single wicket and scored only eight runs across three innings.

"I think, if you go through the whole thing, sometimes you come out with a performance, sometimes you don't," he added. 

"But, of course, it's a big platform and expectations were high, but you don't perform that spot of life. I think life never stops, and I'm pretty satisfied with my ODI career."

Malik will go down in history as a Pakistan great, having played 287 ODIs, scoring 7,534 runs at an average of 34.55.

He made his ODI debut in October 1999 and produced nine centuries in the format, also chipping in with 158 wickets.

Imad Wasim was named Pakistan captain for the fourth ODI against Australia in Dubai, after Shoaib Malik was ruled out with bruised ribs.

Shoaib was a stand-in skipper himself with Sarfraz Ahmed having been rested for the series, which Australia have already won courtesy of emphatic victories in the first three contests.

In the absence of Shoaib and Imam-ul-Haq on Friday, Pakistan handed debuts to Saad Ali and Abid Ali, with Imad taking the captaincy for the first time and electing to bowl after winning the toss.

Australia rested bowlers Pat Cummins and Jason Behrendorff, bringing in Nathan Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson.

Cummins is also set to miss the fifth and final ODI as he enjoys a brief rest ahead of the World Cup and Ashes.

Friday's match represents Australia's first since the bans of Steve Smith and David Warner expired. The former captain and vice-captain were not selected for this tour and are both playing in the Indian Premier League.

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed is one of six players rested by Pakistan for their one-day series against Australia, with Shoaib Malik leading a 16-man squad that includes Umar Akmal and Junaid Khan.

With a tour to England and also the Cricket World Cup looming on the horizon, Pakistan's selectors have opted to leave out some of their leading names for the upcoming 50-over fixtures in the United Arab Emirates.

As well as wicketkeeper Sarfraz, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Afridi will not be involved.

Mohammad Hafeez also misses out as he is recovering from thumb surgery, while Hussain Talat is dropped following the 3-2 ODI series defeat to South Africa last month.

Uncapped quartet Abid Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain and Saad Ali have been called up after impressing at domestic level, while batsman Akmal and seamer Junaid are recalled.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah is also included as Pakistan look to manage their players carefully ahead of a busy schedule.

"Had there been no pre-World Cup matches in England, then we would not have made these many changes," Inzamam-ul-Haq, who is chairman of selectors, said in a statement.

"While Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan, Umar Akmal and Yasir Shah are returning to ODI cricket, Abid Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain and Saad Ali have been rewarded for stellar performances in domestic cricket.

"The series against the world champions will not be an easy one and these players, in fact, will be tested to their limits.

"This will provide these players a great opportunity to display their skills and temperament, strengthening their claims for a World Cup call-up as there are a few places up for grabs."

The first one-dayer takes place on March 22 with the series concluding before the end of the month.


Pakistan squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah.

Stand-in South Africa skipper David Miller felt like "the worst captain on the planet" as Pakistan threatened to take their three-match Twenty20 series to a decider. 

Miller led the hosts with Faf du Plessis rested and scored a sensational 65 off just 29 deliveries to help the Proteas post 188-3 at the Wanderers after play was briefly suspended in the 18th over due to rain. 

The left-hander, who shares the record for the fastest T20 hundred in international cricket, plundered 29 off the final over from Usman Shinwari. 

However, Miller was concerned when Pakistan were 70-1 after the powerplay, Babar Azam (90) leading the charge, and admitted he felt lost at sea. 

"I thought I was the worst captain on the planet," he said with a smile after sealing an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series with a seven-run triumph. "I didn't know what to do, to be honest. 

"They were always going to come hard and try to get as many runs in the powerplay. 

"We didn't start too well with the ball, we were a bit wide and short."

Pakistan needed 42 runs from their last four overs for victory, but Beuran Hendricks picked up the key wicket of Babar before Chris Morris (2-36) and Andile Phehlukwayo (3-36) worked their way through the lower order. 

"It got quite tight and stressful at the back end but the guys pulled through and did incredibly well," said Miller after Pakistan had finished on 181-7. 

"[Tabraiz] Shamsi came in and bowled incredibly well, brought the run-rate down, and [Lutho] Sipamla was absolutely incredible on his first game. As a captain I was really pleased with the two of them and then to top it off with the guys at the back end was really sweet. 

"Really pleasing to finish off on a high. We didn't leave it [the series] until the last game, so really happy about that." 

Imad Wasim removed Janneman Malan to give Pakistan an early breakthrough in the first innings and finished his four overs with stunning figures of 1-9, but captain Shoaib Malik was frustrated the rest of his bowling attack were unable to follow suit. 

Shinwari's four overs proved incredibly expensive as he went for 63 runs, while Hasan Ali conceded 48 as South Africa posted a challenging total.

Shoaib said of Imad: "He's an exceptional talent, and we need a couple of other guys to perform that way.

"Shaheen Afridi bowled brilliantly, it's just you need three or four bowlers to do well, and then you end up chasing 160 on a good wicket.

"Finishing crucial games is where we're lacking. We saw it in the last game as well. We're going to sit and talk about it, particularly the last overs."

Centuries from Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan saw India to a record nine-wicket win over fierce rivals Pakistan that sealed their spot in the Asia Cup final.

Shoaib Malik saw Pakistan through to a dramatic three-wicket victory in the final over to break Afghanistan hearts in their first Asia Cup Super Four encounter on Friday.

A brilliant unbeaten 97 from

A Shimron Hetmyer century handed gave the Guyana Amazon Warriors enough of a threat to force a meltdown from the Jamaica Tallawahs in their first Hero Caribbean Premier League game at the Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. 

Fakhar Zaman became the fastest batsman to score 1,000 one-day international runs as Pakistan made the Zimbabwe bowlers toil again in the final match of the series.

Billy Stanlake ripped through Pakistan to spoil Shoaib Malik's record-breaking 100th Twenty20 international appearance as Australia stopped the rot with a crushing nine-wicket victory in Harare. 

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