by Veena Gabriel
It is official now, the Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar won back his central contract on Tuesday, returning to the International fold after that bitter row in which he was involved when he lashed out at officials for failing to give him the contract last January.
The Pakistani Cricket Board retaliated by banning this fiery fast bowler for five years from playing internationally, the harsh sentence being reduced and was finally suspended.
Shoaib was one of the 26 players who were awarded the annual contact which involves a lot yes lots of moolah Rs 250000 ($3500) per month plus match fees.No wonder Shoaib cried foul when he was not given the contract last year.He managed to play just 3 Twenty20 Internationals.
The main criterion in deciding the contract was seniority as per the Chief Operating Officer Salim Altaf of the Pakistan Cricket Board.The central contracts were the brainchild of coach Intikhab Alam,manager Yawar Saeed and chief Selector Abdul Quadir.
Akhar was named in the top ‘A’ category with the captain Shoaib Mallik , vice captain Misbah ul Haq, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt and Danesh Kaneria.
Now it is possible that this year we will see more fireworks on the cricket field obviously ignited by flamboyant Rawalpindi Express.