The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday introduced separate central contracts for the red ball and the white ball for its players with increased retainers, but would discourage its elite players from competing in foreign leagues, for which it is ready to pay them compensation. The PCB said the Board of Governors meeting approved an annual budget of Rs 15 billion for the financial year 2022-23, of which 78% is allocated for cricket activities.
“As part of its strategy to incentivize, reward and encourage its high performing elite cricketers, as well as to reduce the salary gap with players from other countries, the BoG has approved changes in the central structure of men’s contracts,” the PCB said. said in a statement.
Starting July 1, separate red and white ball contracts will be awarded with increased deposits. The number of players under central contract has increased from 20 to 33.
The Board announced a 10% match fee increase across all formats as well as a match fee increase for non-playing members from 50% to 70% of the overall match fee.
A captain’s allowance has also been introduced to compensate the team leader for the additional responsibilities that come with this role.
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja also announced at a press conference in Lahore that the board has also established a special fund for current players who receive offers to play in foreign leagues.
“We want to discourage our elite players from signing up for extra off-season events. We believe players had better not go to these leagues. We will pay them 50-60% of the contract amount offered to them. if necessary.
“It’s a very important season for us, we don’t want our players to be tired or exhausted. We want them to be ready and fresh to take on national duties.” Ramiz also confirmed a 15% increase in holdbacks from women’s central contracts across all categories. On top of that, the pool of players under central contract can grow from 20 players to 25 players.
“Since September 2021, the Pakistan men’s cricket team has achieved an impressive 75% pass rate across all formats, which is the highest among all test nations. This has helped in improving the standings Pakistan, which now sits at No. 5 in Tests (up one), No. 3 in ODI (up three and the highest since January 2017) and No. 3 in T20I (up one),” said Raja.
Explaining the thought process behind the splitting of red and white ball contracts, Raja said it was done to recognize the importance of white ball cricket in the growth and development of the game.
“We have four international events over the next 16 months, including two World Cups. This recognition of the contract offer to white ball specialists will help us to develop two separate teams over time, which could simultaneously be engaged in white and red ball cricket. It will also allow us to have a wider variety of talent to showcase to the world.” The former captain also clarified that Pakistan is also working on creating a talent pool where they can simultaneously field red and white ball teams like India and England for international events/series.
He also said that a Pakistan Cricket Foundation has been set up to support retired cricketers, match officials, scorers and ground staff facing serious financial hardship.
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