LAHORE: Shan Masood’s central contract has been upgraded from category ‘D’ to ‘B’ as a subsequence to his appointment as Pakistan’s Test captain, the country’s cricket board announced on Thursday.

Before taking charge as national side’s red-ball skipper, Shan had managed only a category ‘D’ contract due to inconsistent form and lack of surety over his future in the Test team.

The doubts over Shan’s place in the first XI were quashed when he became a part of the team’s structural revamp by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which replaced ex all-format captain Babar Azam with him and made former captain Mohammad Hafeez as the team director following the unit’s dismal show in the 50-over World Cup.

With the captaincy, Shan also earned the entitlement to a better contract as per PCB’s policy.

“The decision has been made in line with board’s policy that if a centrally-contracted player below A or B categories is appointed captain, their contract shall be upgraded to category B for the tenure of their captaincy,” the board said in a statement.

“34-year-old Shan was named Test captain on 15 November 2023, until the conclusion of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle.”

Shan’s first assignment as captain will be Pakistan’s upcoming three-match Test series against Australia Down Under. The Karachi-born batter will have a lot to prove on a tour that has been historically tough for Pakistan, given that his numbers in the format are in massive contrast to that of his predecessor Babar.

The series will open in Perth on December 14 before Pakistan and Australia clash in Melbourne and Sydney.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2023

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