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LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), while ignoring two senior players — goalkeeper Salman Akbar and striker Rehan Butt — on Tuesday offered central contracts to 24 players for a period of five months starting from July 1, 2011.

According to details, 18 senior players and six juniors are included in the list of the central contract.

“The PHF executive board in its 20th meeting held on Sept 23, 2011 has awarded performance-based ‘incentive contract’ to players of national pool. This incentive programme will be applicable (to the following players) with effect from July 1 until Nov 30, 2011,” a PHF media release stated.

When contacted, secretary PHF Asif Bajwa told Dawn that since Salman Akbar was busy playing league hockey in Europe and earning money, the federation decided not to award him the contract, adding that Rehan Butt also could not win confidence of chief selector for the next tour of Australia.

The PHF would only award the contract to those who would perform and show full commitment, he remarked.

Stating that three players — Rashid Mehmood, Fareed Ahmad and Mohammad Waqas Sharif — were promoted from category ‘B’ to ‘A’ for showing good performance, he maintained that Mohammad Zubair and Shafqat Rasool were demoted to category ‘C’ from ‘B’ since they could not come up to expectations.

Seven players namely Sohail Abbas, Waseem Ahmad, Shakeel Abbasi, Rashid Mehmood, Fareed Ahmed, Mohammad Imran and Mohammad Waqas are included in category ‘A’ and will get Rs50,000 per month.

The category ‘B’ offers Rs40,000 each per month to three players including Abdul Haseem Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (senior) and Mohammad Irfan.

Likewise, category ‘C’ contains eight players —Mohammad Zubair, Shafqat Rasool, Mohammad Tousiq, Syed Imran Shah, Syed Kashif Shah, Mohammad Rizwan (junior), Ali Shan and Mohammad Umar Bhutta — who will be paid Rs30,000 each.

As for six juniors, they will be paid Rs15,000 each per month. The players are Tasawwar Abbas, Mohammad Bilal Qadir, Mohammad Suleman, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Umair and Mazhar Abbas.

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