20 Mar 2010

Ex-Pakistan captains miss out on central contract

1:20 pm on 20 March 2010

Pakistan excluded banned ex-captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf from a list of central contracts, raising further doubts over their international cricket careers.

Younus and Yousuf were among seven players last week banned and fined by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) following an inquiry into dismal team performance on a December-February tour of Australia.

Pakistan lost all three Tests, five one-day and a Twenty20 match on the tour, which was also hit by discipline problems - on and off the field.

The PCB says Younus and Yousuf were banned indefinitely for infighting which resulted in bringing down the team but the PCB says they could return after a review.

Former captain Shoaib Malik and all-rounder Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were also banned for a year on charges of violating the code of conduct, widely reported in the local media as match-fixing.

Malik and Hasan were excluded from a list of 18 players awarded annual central contracts.

Three other penalised cricketers - Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umer Akmal - were lucky to retain their contracts after they were heavily fined and put on a six-month probation by the inquiry committee.

Paceman Mohammad Asif won back his contract following a failed doping test in the Indian Premier League in 2008 which resulted in a one-year ban.

Dope-tainted paceman Shoaib Akhtar was excluded from the list and missed most of Pakistan matches last year due to injury and discipline problems.