Asia Cup 2023: Pakistan Players All Set To Sign New Central Contracts

The bell of Asia Cup 2023 is yet to ring as the tournament is just going to be commenced on September 2023. One of the hosts of the tournament- Pakistan’s cricket board is ready to bind their cricketers with a new contract. As per the information via the media, the Pakistan player’s central contract is coming as a reward.  Let us get into the depth.

Pakistani player’s new central contract:

Pakistani cricketers are on the verge of signing their new national contracts, around 2 months after their earlier term collapsed. Earlier reports said that the Pakistan Cricket Board is set to reward its cricketers with a record increment, with the likes of all-format cricketers like Babar Azam and Md Rizwan earning up to PKR 4.5 million.

However, the whole process has not been a smooth path, since the cricketers have made other expectations apart from the salary increment. One of the vital talking points during the stand-off between the cricketers and the board has been regarding participation in the T-20 Leagues worldwide. PCB has denied No Objection Certificates to Pakistani cricketers on numerous occasions.

The expected salary hike:

PCB is expected to make an important change in the Pakistan player’s central contract by working on multi-year deals for their cricketers and expanding the match fees and contracts to retain their top-class cricketers to play for the national team in the next years.

According to the media reports, Md Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Shaheen Shah Afridi are classified in category A with players playing across all the formats. Category B cricketers are fixed to earn PKR 3 million; and Category C and D will earn between PKR 0.75-1.5 million.

The hike has come into consideration after ICC’s new revenue distribution fixture. PCB would be wary of the fact that many cricketers may move potentially towards the global cricket leagues as that can offer them huge financial stability as the demand for top-quality cricketers to go for franchise cricket is very high.

Cricket in Pakistan has been suffering issues related to their domestic cricket and team selections very recently. So, they have brought the Cricket Technical Committee under Mishab-ul-Haq to recommend the entire structure of cricket in the country. The members of the committee have had good experience playing cricket for the country over the decades.

Pakistan Players Express Concerns Over NOCs:

Apart from the salary hike, players have raised another needful matter about the transparency of No Objection Certificates for participating in the worldwide T-20 cricket leagues. They have shown frustration over PCB’s repeated rejection of NOCs by cricketers several times.

As per the media report, the Pak cricket authority has now decided to allow NOCs to all cricketers for engagement in 2 overseas T-20 tournaments; relying on the international fixture. Earlier, category A cricketers were bound to only 1 league; while others could take part in a maximum of 2 such events.

Non-Contracted Players Can go for T20 Leagues:

Cricketers who are not under national contracts will be allowed to play in as many T-20 leagues as they wish; provided they secure No Objections from their respective domestic teams. The source emphasized taking up a ‘common-sense approach’ to enable cricketers’ earning opportunities without hindrance.

Further, the report highlighted the delay in catching the new Pakistan player’s central contracts due to the shifting of PCB’s chair. Some cricketers were rushed to sign contracts in the past and regretted lacking time for legal consultation. So, Pakistan players are now engaged in negotiations with a ‘functional and effective’ approach.

Other deals:

The Pak cricketers and PCB are also trying to reach a full agreement on revenue sharing, image rights; and independent sponsorship deals. An earlier report mentioned that the cricketers are asking for a larger revenue share to be added to their contracts. The board is unwilling to cut off its current revenue share structure.

Pakistani cricketers are going with commercial deals for direct opposite firms of PCB’s sponsors has been strictly forbidden up until now. But Pakistan Cricket Board is willing to bend and consider this front. However, while the cricketing authority expects the image rights to be done in the final round of talks; it is confident to settle on the back of the increment in-game fees and overall contract amount.

Wrap words:

However, PCB is aiming to resolve the matter regarding the Pakistan player’s central contracts soon; ensuring that the cricketers’ focus remains on the next mega cricket tournaments and clinching the title.