The PCB unveils new central contracts with a substantial boost in compensation.

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The PCB unveils new central contracts with a substantial boost in compensation.

Lahore: On Wednesday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) awarded central contracts to twenty-five players for a three-year term, marking a notable rise in monthly retainers and match fees across all four categories. 

The central contract period commences on July 1, 2023, and extends through June 30, 2026. The PCB faced challenges in announcing these contracts before the July 1 deadline due to leadership changes within the board and extended negotiations with players who sought a larger share of the PCB's earnings.

In a press release, the PCB confirmed the successful negotiation of a three-year central contract agreement with senior players, spanning from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2026. This significant deal will encompass a portion of the International Cricket Council (ICC) revenue, different from the previous year where red-ball and white-ball national contracts were merged. This change aims to evaluate players based on their ability to contribute to winning matches and promote transparency in the selection process.

The players will be divided into four categories, with substantial increases in monthly retainers. ICC revenue will be integrated into the overall monthly remuneration.

Category 'A' includes captain Babar Azam, wicket-keeper/batsman Mohammad Rizwan, and fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, with a 202% raise in the monthly retainer.

Category 'B' comprises vice-captain Shadab Khan, openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, and pacers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, all receiving a 144% increase.

All-rounder Imad Wasim and in-form opener Abdullah Shafique fall into Category 'C,' with a raise of 135%.

Category 'D' includes 14 players like former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, young wicket-keeper/batsman Mohammad Haris, openers Shan Masood and Saim Ayub, middle-order batsmen Saud Shakeel and Iftikhar Ahmed, fast bowlers Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Zaman Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Ihsanullah, all-rounder Salman Ali Agha, and leg-spinner Usama Mir.

Player match fees have also seen significant enhancements, with a 50% increase in Tests, 25% in ODIs, and 12.5% in T20 Internationals.

According to the agreement, centrally-contracted players participating in domestic cricket will receive 50% of the international match fee. Additionally, players will be allowed to compete in two foreign T20 leagues each season, in addition to the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which is considered a local event.

The three-year contract period will maintain a fixed financial model, with player performance reviews occurring every 12 months. The previous central contract cycle expired on June 30, 2023, and the new agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2023.

Zaka Ashraf, PCB Interim Management Committee chairman, praised the deal, emphasizing its potential to motivate players to enhance their performance and make the nation proud in upcoming events like the ICC World Cup.

Captain Babar Azam termed the agreement historic, expressing satisfaction that a fair and mutually beneficial deal had been reached, and appreciating chairman Zaka Ashraf's personal involvement in facilitating the negotiations. He emphasized the significance of this agreement for both players and Pakistan cricket, marking a new chapter in their careers and setting the stage for success in the World Cup.

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Abu Bakar Khan

Abu Bakar Khan