Pakistan cricketers to be awarded separate red and white ball contracts - know details
For the first time, Pakistan Cricket Board has introduced seprate contracts for red and white-ball formats, on Thursday.
Only five players, including skipper Babar Azam, have been awarded both contracts. These contracts will come into effect from Friday for the next 12 months.
Opening batter Imam-ul-Haq, wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, along with fast bowlers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali are the other players who were awarded contracts in both red and white-ball cricket.
Earlier, PCB decided to pay their players compensatory money in a bid to discourage them from playing in leagues around the world. Sarting from July 1, they will issue separate red and white-ball contracts with increased retainers. The number of centrally contracted has also been players has been increased from 20 to 33.
The PCB said that the Board of Governors meeting has approved an annual budget of 15 billion rupees for the fiscal year 2022-23 with 78 per cent allocated for cricket activities.
"As part of its strategy to incentivise, reward and encourage its high-performing elite cricketers, as well as to narrow the gap in salaries compared to players of other countries, the BoG has approved changes in the men's central contracts structure," the PCB said in a statement.
The Board announced a 10 per cent increase in match fees across formats and also an increase in match fees for non-playing members from 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the overall match fee.
A captaincy allowance has also been introduced to compensate the team leader for the additional responsibilities that come with that role.
PCB Chairman, Ramiz Raja also announced at a media conference in Lahore that the Board has also set up a special fund for current players who get offers for playing in foreign leagues.
"We want to discourage our elite players from signing up for additional off-season events. We feel the players are better off not going to these leagues. We will pay them 50 to 60 per cent of the contract amount they are offered where required.
"This is a very important season for us we don't want our players to be tired or burnt out. We want them to be ready and fresh to go for national duties."
Ramiz also confirmed a 15 per cent increase in retainers of women's central contracts across all categories. In addition to this, the pool of women's centrally contracted players may be increased from 20 players to up to 25 players.
"Since September 2021, the Pakistan men's cricket team has achieved an impressive 75 per cent success rate across all formats, which is the highest amongst all the Test-playing nations.
This has contributed to Pakistan improving its rankings - fifth in Tests (up by one), third in ODIs (up by three and the highest since January 2017) and third in T20Is (up by one)," Raja said.
Explaining the thought process behind splitting red and white-ball contracts, Raja said this has been done to recognise the importance of white-ball cricket in the growth and development of the game.
"We have four international events in the next 16 months, including two World Cups. This recognition of offering contracts to white-ball specialists will help us to eventually develop two separate squads, which could simultaneously be engaged in white and red-ball cricket. This will also allow us to have a bigger spread of talent to showcase to the world."
The former captain also made it clear that Pakistan was also working along the lines of creating a pool of talent where they can field simultaneous red and white ball squads like India and England for international events/series.
He also said a Pakistan Cricket Foundation has been created to support retired cricketers, match officials, scorers and ground staff facing severe financial hardships.
International cricket is heading in a new direction. More and more countries are looking to field two simultaneous teams. It also remains to be seen if an increase in compensation affects a player's decision to play in leagues around the world.