For the past four months, cricketers have received no payments in terms of monthly retainers or match fees from the PCB
The likelihood of Pakistan's players participating in the 2023 World Cup without central contracts has increased. With only two days remaining before the team's departure, negotiations with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regarding central contracts have not yielded positive results.
For the past four months, cricketers have received no payments in terms of monthly retainers or match fees from the PCB. This situation presents a significant challenge, especially for young players who are grappling with financial difficulties. Up to this point, they have silently protested, refraining from taking any actions that might express their discontent. However, they are now contemplating the possibility of refusing to display sponsors' logos on their shirts.
On the condition of staying anonymous, a Pakistan cricketer said, "We are willing to represent Pakistan for free, but our question is why we should promote sponsors' logos that are affiliated with the board. Similarly, we may decline to participate in promotional activities and other events. During the World Cup, we won't engage in ICC's commercial promotions and activities either."
According to inside sources, the proposed contract structure offered an impressive monthly retainer fee of PKR 4.5 million to top cricketers across all three formats. However, players believe that after taxes and deductions, they would only receive around PKR 2.2 to 2.3 million, which is why they are pushing for further increases.
Players are now demanding a share of the revenue received by the PCB from the International Cricket Council (ICC) and sponsors. Their argument is that, under the ICC revenue-sharing model, the board receives approximately 9.8 billion rupees, excluding revenue from the Pakistan Super League (PSL), sponsorships, or bilateral series. Even when accounting for all central contracts, the payment would still fall short of one billion rupees, which is 10% less than what the board receives from ICC revenue sharing.
On the contrary, PCB sources suggest that players' agents may be influencing their stance, and from the board's perspective, they are offering a fair deal.
It's important to note that the World Cup will be held in India, and any negative actions taken there could tarnish Pakistan's reputation. Therefore, it is imperative to promptly resolve this issue with a flexible approach.