Lahore: Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has defended the omission of pace trio of Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali from the central contracts list.
The coach said that both Amir and Wahab decided to shift their focus on white-ball cricket and Hasan Ali missed the major part of the season due to injury.
"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 Amir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, this was the right move," Misbah said in an official statement released by the PCB.
"However, Amir and Wahab are senior and experienced bowlers and they remain in contention as we believe they can still contribute to the Pakistan men's cricket team and also mentor our young battery of fast bowlers," he added.
Amir and Riaz had both retired from the longest format of the game last year citing workload management to extend their limited over careers with Pakistan.
The PCB's central contract list will come into effect from July 1. In the last, former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was demoted from category A to B. Test skipper Azhar Ali and Shaheen Afridi were promoted from category B to A.
The apex body of cricket in Pakistan also created a new 'Emerging Players' category for three upcoming players Haris Rauf, Haider Ali, and Mohammad Hasnain, while Naseem Shah earned a maiden category C contract.
Imam-ul-Haq was demoted from B to C while Yasir Shah who has been a key player in Pakistan Test side slipped from A to B.
Category C witnessed new entrants like Naseem Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed and they joined the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Imam, and Usman Shinwari.
In the forthcoming season, Pakistan is scheduled to play two T20Is in Ireland (July), three Tests and three T20Is in England (July-September), three ODIs and three T20Is in South Africa (October), three ODIs and three T20Is at home against Zimbabwe (November).
The team will also lock horns in two tests and three T20Is in New Zealand (December), two Tests and three T20Is at home against South Africa (January 2021) and two Tests and three T20Is in Zimbabwe (April 2021).
In addition to bilateral series, Pakistan will also feature in the Asia Cup T20 tournament and the ICC T20 Men's World Cup 2020 in Australia.