Karachi: Pakistan's head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has defended the axing of senior pacers Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali from the new central contracts list.
Facing criticism from some quarters for the move to drop many senior players from the contracts list, Misbah clarified that the three would still be considered for selection.
Hasan, clearly upset by his omission, sent out a cryptic tweet but then deleted it quickly.
Misbah insisted that the right decision had been taken keeping in mind past performances and the coming workload of the national team.
He said Hasan was dropped simply because of his injury problems since the World Cup.
"The selectors have made the tough decisions to leave out Amir, Hasan and Wahab but considering Hasan missed most of the season due to an injury and Aamir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, this was the right move," Misbah said in a press release issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
"However, Aamir and Wahab are experienced bowlers and they remain in contention as we believe they can still contribute to the Pakistan cricket team and also mentor our young battery of fast bowlers," he added.
Hasan was ruled out of the home Tests against Sri Lanka last year after scans revealed multiple cortical rib fractures, involving the ninth rib on the right side and eighth and ninth ribs on the left side.
Many believe that Wahab and Aamir have been punished by the board for deciding to quit red-ball cricket last year in order to extend their careers in white-ball formats.
Misbah said, "The philosophy and criteria for this merit-based central contract list was simple and straightforward: the selectors reviewed player performances in the past 12 months and then looked ahead to our team requirements in the forthcoming 12 months."
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Pakistan cricket chief Ramiz Raja said England had failed his nation's cricket team by pulling out of its tour next month.
New Zealand abandoned and England pulled out of scheduled assignments in Pakistan in quick succession citing security concerns. England also gave players' mental health as a reason for the withdrawal.
PCB CEO, Wasim Khan said Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) showed a willingness to play in Pakistan but there was little time in hand for them to send their teams.