Fast-bowler Mohammad Sami said that he was ‘shocked and hurt’ after his name did not feature in the list of centrally-contracted players and the stipend category, which was announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday.
The PCB released the much-awaited list, awarding contracts to 21 players besides announcing an equal number of names in the stipend category for their impressive performance in domestic cricket.
However, Sami, who has been recalled to the squad for all the three formats ahead of the series against Sri Lanka, was a surprise omission.
While the fast-bowler, who earned a place after an outstanding show in the domestic circuit, remained calm, disappointment was evident.
“It definitely hurts,” Sami told The Express Tribune. “The feeling is natural as I was expecting my name to be there. The problem is that the PCB also announced a separate stipend category for impressive performances in the domestic events and my name is not even in that list. I gave my best and my performance chart speaks for itself so it obviously hurts.”
Pacer vows ‘to earn contract’
But Sami said he will not let the disappointment affect his performance in the upcoming series that starts against Sri Lanka on June 1. “I’ve made many comebacks through hard work. I will display the same attitude and earn the contract through my performance.
“The best thing for me is that I am in the Pakistan team. Although a central contract is important for a player, being in the national team is more important.
“I’m working hard for a successful return to international cricket with an eye on transforming my domestic form to the top level.”
The 31-year-old added that he was in good shape and has gained a lot from the training camp that also featured warm-up matches.
Committee to recommend Sami’s inclusion: Qasim
Meanwhile, chief selector Iqbal Qasim said the committee will ask PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf to include Sami in the list of central contracts.
Apart from Sami, young fast-bowler Mohammad Talha’s name will also be recommended, the chief selector added.
“The names for central contracts were finalised when Sami was not part of the team,” Qasim said in an interview.
“Talha was also not fit at the time. But now the selection committee will recommend their names for central contracts.”
According to a PCB official, little feedback was taken from the current selection committee, which relied on the list prepared by former chief selector Mohammad Illyas during his tenure.
“The names for central contracts were finalised when Sami was not part of the team. Talha was also not fit at the time. But now the selection committee will recommend their names to the PCB chairman.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2012.
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