Shaheen Afridi questions PCB's timing to terminate Haris Rauf's central contract

“Haris is a mentally strong boy and this won't affect him hopefully, and perhaps the PCB will also understand making the decision at this time was not correct," Shaheen said.

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Haris-Rauf. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to revoke the central contract of fast bowler Haris Rauf. The move came after Rauf opted out of Pakistan's Test series against Australia.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, Rauf's national and PSL teammate at Lahore Qalandars, has raised concerns about the timing and implications of PCB's decision. The board has not only terminated Rauf contract but also restricted his participation in overseas T20 leagues until June 30 by withholding the No Objection Certificates (NOC).  

With Lahore Qalandars set to play the curtain raiser against Islamabad United in PSL 2024, Shaheen highlighted the abruptness of the decision.

Also read: PCB terminates Haris Rauf's central contract

"I don't have much to say about the PCB's decision. But the timing is such we have a match in one day and the decision just came through,” Shaheen told ESPNcricinfo. “Haris is a mentally strong boy and this won't affect him hopefully, and perhaps the PCB will also understand making the decision at this time was not correct. Haris is doing fine; he's always ready to play for Pakistan."

The timing of PCB's decision raises eyebrows, especially given Rauf's consistent performances and his importance in the national setup. After opting out of the Test series against Australia, Rauf represented Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL) 2023-24.

His exclusion from the Pakistan squad during the Australian tour prompted criticism from Chief Selector Wahab Riaz, who emphasized the importance of Rauf's presence, particularly when frontline bowlers were sidelined due to injuries. 

Rauf has so far represented Pakistan in one Test, 37 ODIs, and 66 T20Is and has got a total of 160 wickets.

Also read: Wahab Riaz disappointed as Haris Rauf pulls out of Australia Tests

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