KARACHI: As he has got the clearance from the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) integrity committee, seasoned all-rounder Shoaib Malik is likely to get a central contract from the board. “The chairman of the board will take a decision on Malik’s central contract and which category he should be given. But there is no doubt he is now one of the few senior players in the side,” a PCB official was quoted as saying Wednesday. The lobby, which pushed for the clearance of Malik and return to the national side, is now pushing for the former captain to get a central contract as soon as possible but the official said a decision was solely the discretion of the board chairman Ijaz Butt.
There is a feeling that Malik’s comeback to international cricket should first be watched in Zimbabwe before deciding which category he should get a central contract as he has not played for Pakistan since August last year. Chief selector Mohsin Hasan Khan, however, is very optimistic about some youngsters coming through on the Zimbabwe tour. “We have given them an opportunity to showcase their talents and now it is up to them how they avail it,” he said. Mohsin, however, expressed confidence that the three new faces in the side – Rameez Raja Junior, Yasir Shah and Aizaz Cheema – would come through at the international level. He also termed the tour as significant for pace bowlers Sohail Khan and Sohail Tanvir, making a comeback to the national side after gaps, and young Junaid Khan. – Dailytimes