Central contract dispute affecting Pakistan players’ performance

A PCB official revealed that multiple players have given warning about becoming "freelance" cricketers

Central contract dispute affecting Pakistan players’ performance PHOTO: AFP

The contracts for Pakistan's cricketers during the 2022-23 season expired on June 30th, but as of now, there hasn't been a full agreement on the terms of the new contracts. Senior players have put forth several demands, including higher pay, and these negotiations have been ongoing for a considerable amount of time.

In the proposed contract structure, the top cricketers across all three formats, such as the captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, were offered an impressive monthly retainer fee of PKR 4.5 million each, while B-category players were offered PKR 3 million per month. However, players believe that after taxes and other deductions, they would receive only around PKR 2.2 to 2.3 million, which is why they are pushing for further increases.

There were recent reports indicating that the contract issues had been resolved and that contract announcements were imminent. However, a deadlock emerged concerning commercial contracts.

The cricket board is of the opinion that some players are more interested in participating in leagues, securing high remunerations, and pursuing commercial contracts rather than giving their best in international cricket. A senior player had even stated a few months ago that he wouldn't sign a contract with the PCB after being denied NOCs (No Objection Certificates) for participation in leagues. However, he was eventually convinced by the PCB to sign. The board is determined to maintain control and prevent players from playing without contracts, even though this trend has emerged in several other countries.

PCB sources have emphasized that in the past, there was no tradition of players refusing central contracts, and they hope that all players will eventually accept the terms. Positive negotiations are ongoing in this regard.