PCB terminates Haris Rauf’s central contract after probe


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has terminated Haris Rauf’s central contract after he previously denied to play Test matches for the national team. PCB further denied him giving the NOC to play across various T20 leagues as well.

PCB decided on Haris Rauf following a probe into his refusal to join Pakistan’s Test squad for the tour of Australia 2023-24. The board went through a hearing process conducted by a board committee. Haris’ central contract has been terminated from December 1, 2023, and no NOC (No objection certificate) to play any foreign league will be granted up to June 30, 2024.

The board did give the Pakistan pacer a chance to keep his side of the story with the principles of natural justice on 30 January 2024 and his response was found unsatisfactory. His behavior as an international cricketer was also found unsatisfactory at this point and his denial to represent the national team in the longest format was seen as his prime mistake.

Haris Rauf denied playing Test cricket in the series against Australia and opted to play in the BBL. This decision was not welcomed by the newly appointed chief selector Wahab Riaz, who replaced former Pakistan skipper Inzaman-ul-Haq in that position. He said that the team was looking forward to his use of his pace in the fast Australian pitches.

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“We spoke to the captain and coach, and they wanted to utilize Haris Rauf as an impact player in Test cricket. We weren’t demanding more than 10-12 overs a day from him, which he has done in ODIs,” Riaz was quoted as saying in a press conference.

PCB Disappointed With Haris Rauf’s Decision To Not Play Test Cricket

Pakistan picked Shaheen Shah Afridi, Khurram Shehzad, Mir Hamza, and Mohammad Wasim Jr as their pace-bowling options. Riaz said that being a centrally contracted player, Rauf should have represented the national team when some of their genuine fast bowlers were injured.

“Our frontline Test bowling options that bowl 140+ and can create an impact are unfit, all 3 of them. As a player when you’re centrally contracted, I think you need to sacrifice in such a situation and look to play for Pakistan rather than moving back,” he added.

Haris risked himself of being downgraded in the central contract after he made himself unavailable for the Australia Test series. A reliable source said that some senior officials in the Pakistan Cricket Board were unhappy at the attitude of Haris and also over the statements made by his Lahore Qalandars coach Aqib Javed, who defended the express pace bowler.

The source further said that the very fact that Haris didn’t come out with a denial directly had convinced the senior board officials he was playing games with the board and selectors. He initially showed his interest to play in the series but then pulled out before the series started.

Harid last played for Pakistan against England in the ICC World Cup in November 2023. Haris’s case is a prime example of the PCB giving prime importance to the players and asking them to make themselves available to play for the national team, especially the Test team. Refusal to play Test cricket for Pakistan, especially without a valid reason could lead to players losing their central contracts in the future as well.

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