Want to serve country irrespective of contract category: Hafeez

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KARACHI: All-rounder Muhammad Hafeez debunked the media reports suggesting that the senior player won’t sign the central contract by stating that he wants to play with respect for Pakistan irrespective of the category given to him by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Hafeez was demoted to Category B under the new central contract. The 37-year-old, who did not feature in any of Pakistan’s five one-day internationals against Zimbabwe despite being part of a much-rotated squad, was featured in Category B alongside Faheem Ashraf, Asad Shafiq, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan.

A total of 33 players across five categories were included in the central contract.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Muhammad Amir, Yasir Shah and Babar Azam were included in Category A.

While Imad Wasim, Muhammad Abbas, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Muhammad Nawaz, Usman Khan Shinwari and Shan Masood were placed in Category C.

Ahmed Shehzad, who was provisionally suspended by the PCB last month for testing positive for a banned substance, failed to score a central contract.

The PCB also announced 25 to 30 per cent increase in the monthly remuneration for each of its categories and raised its players’ match fees by 20 per cent across all categories.

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