Pakistan players gear up for central contract negotiations with PCB

The players are demanding several changes in their contracts, including a fair share of the money obtained from international Cricket Council (ICC) events

Pakistan players gear up for central contract negotiations with PCB PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan players are preparing for negotiations for the central contracts with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as their current contracts are due to expire next month.

According to the details, it has been a tradition in Pakistan cricket for players to receive a central contract, which is several hundred pages in length, and then have it taken back by the authorities for the purpose of obtaining their signature. In this process, players were not even given a copy of the contract to consult with their lawyers.

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However, there have been improvements made in this practice as of last year, where players were given sufficient time to review and study the contract before signing it.

The sources have reported that due to their participation in various cricket leagues, Pakistan cricketers have formed bonds with international players. This has led them to engage in discussions regarding contracts and other related deals. Consequently, they have become aware of the disparities between their own contracts and those of foreign players. As a result, they have decided to raise their voices and advocate for their rights.

A certain portion of the funds allocated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its events is provided to the international cricket boards to support their players. However, this practice is not observed in Pakistan. Several years ago, when Pakistan cricketer, Asif Ali's daughter became seriously ill, he required $40,000 for her medical treatment in the United States.

When Asif Ali reached out to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for financial assistance in order to treat his daughter, there was a considerable delay in receiving the necessary funds. Tragically, by the time the funds were eventually provided, Asif Ali's daughter had already passed away.

This incident caused other players to feel insecure about their own safety and led them to begin contemplating their future in the sport.

Therefore, senior Pakistan cricket players had demanded equal compensation for all players during contract negotiations, and the PCB had agreed to this demand. With the current contracts set to expire next month, national cricketers are now keen to convene and develop a plan of action in collaboration with each other.

It is imperative for the players to work together and devise a comprehensive strategy to address any potential issues or concerns that may arise during the contract negotiations.

Pakistan cricket are dissatisfied with the punishments handed out for the current Code of Conduct violations, as they consider the penalties to be excessively severe, even for minor mistakes. As a result, players are seeking an end to this practice and are calling for contracts to include strict penalties for only the most serious offenses.

In addition to this, players are also requesting the inclusion of health insurance and education policies within the contracts. The players are concerned that in the event of a career-ending injury, they will be left without adequate support or assistance.

A suitable welfare system and equitable distribution of money generated from ICC events are desired by players, along with concerns about commercial contracts, that the players are keen to eliminate. While players are not currently planning to form an association, they discuss common issues informally.

In this regard, a senior official of the PCB said that it is also our responsibility to protect the interests of players, legitimate demands will be accepted. No one has contacted for a meeting yet, we will see when they do.

It should be noted that PCB had given central contracts to players for one year on June 30 last year, including a total of 33 players in different categories of red and white ball cricket.

Captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi are included in the "A" categories of both formats. An increase of 10% was made in match fees for all three formats, while the fees for non-playing players were increased by 50 to 70%. Special allowances were also introduced for the captain.