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  5. PCB terminates Haris Rauf's central contract after pacer's denial to feature for national team in Australia

PCB terminates Haris Rauf's central contract after pacer's denial to feature for national team in Australia

Pakistan Cricket Board chief selector Wahab Riaz had told at the time of announcing Pakistan's Test squad for the Australia Tests that Haris Rauf had made himself unavailable for the series at the last moment. The PCB has now terminated his central contract.

Varun Malik Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Published on: February 15, 2024 21:42 IST
Haris Rauf, PCB
Image Source : GETTY Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCCB) has terminated speedster Haris Rauf's central contract for his denial to be part of the national team during the tour of Australia in 2023-24. Rauf has also been denied an NOC to feature in foreign leagues until 30th June 2024. 

Rauf made himself unavailable for the Test series against Australia at the last minute and the chief selector Wahab Riaz slammed Rauf for it. He said that he and the former director of Pakistan Cricket tried to facilitate him in every way but the pacer pulled out at the last moment. Meanwhile, Rauf reportedly claimed this exchange differently, stating that he had never confirmed that he would be available.

The Pakistan Board has now conducted a hearing and after considering "the views of all stakeholders", the board came to this decision. "The PCB management provided a chance for a personal hearing to Haris in compliance with the principles of natural justice on 30 January 2024, and his response was found unsatisfactory," the Pakistan Board said.

"Playing for Pakistan is the ultimate honour and privilege for any sportsperson. Refusal to be part of Pakistan's Test squad in the absence of any medical report or justifiable reason is a material violation of the central contract," the board further added.

It is understood that the punishment is not to remove Rauf from the national team but in contrast, the cricket board is looking to have his full commitments during this period.

However, the denial of NOC is unlikely to have any material disadvantage on the pacer. The Pakistan Super League begins on February 17 and will end on March 18, where he will be featuring for the Lahore Qalandars. After it, there is a T20 Blast in England but as Pakistan have a four-match T20I series in England ahead of the T20 World Cup, Rauf's participation in the England domestic league would have been near impossible anyway. The World Cup begins in early June and will be held till 29th June 2024, by which time his NOC restriction would be all but over.

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