Pakistan's Haris Rauf faces contract scrutiny after opting out of the Australia Test Series
The Pakistan Cricket Board contemplates revising Haris Rauf's contract as the fast bowler opts out of the upcoming Test series in Australia, risking a potential downgrade and permission denial for the Big Bash League.
Pakistan's Haris Rauf may see modifications in his PCB contract following his decision to abstain from playing in the upcoming Test series in Australia. The risk extends to potential denial of permission to participate in the Big Bash League (BBL). Sources within the Pakistan Cricket Board express dissatisfaction with Rauf's stance, exacerbated by statements from his coach, Aqib Javed. Chief selector Wahab Riaz, himself a former fast bowler, criticized Rauf for initially agreeing to Test consideration before citing workload concerns. Wahab emphasized that, as a centrally contracted player, Rauf should have made himself available for the Test series.
Wahab, along with Director Muhammad Hafeez, communicated with Rauf, assuring him limited overs in Australia. Despite reports quoting Rauf's preference for white-ball cricket, the lack of a direct denial fueled suspicions among senior board officials that he was manipulating the situation.
Discussions within the board suggest a potential review of Rauf's central contract, especially since he was categorized in B, designed for all-format players. This category includes a substantial monthly retainer, enhanced match fees, bonuses, and a share in the PCB's ICC revenues. The board may seek Rauf's final decision on red-ball cricket, opening avenues for contract revisions or the option for Rauf to go freelance, similar to other international players like Trent Boult and Jason Roy.
Additionally, the board might withhold a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for Rauf's participation in the Big Bash. Both Hafeez and Wahab expressed disappointment to PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf over Rauf's attitude.
Haris Rauf's lone Test appearance in December against England in Rawalpindi, where he bowled only 13 overs before sustaining an injury, adds to the complexities surrounding his current situation.