The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has unveiled details of central contracts, bestowing significant hikes in the monthly retainer fees for cricket luminaries like Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, and Mohammad Rizwan.
Following the generous 202% increment, these Category A players are set to pocket Rs4.5 million each month, marking a substantial leap from the previous year’s figures.
This progressive move concludes four months of standstill negotiations between PCB and its players. For the first time in its history, the board has decided to allocate a percentage of the nation’s earnings from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to the players.
“The three-year central contract, spanning from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2026, will be extended to 25 cricketers,” the PCB articulated in an official communique.
Contract Breakdown and Player Categories
According to the details released, players are stratified into four distinct categories. While the trio of Babar, Rizwan, and Afridi dominate the premier category, players like Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Nawaz, among others, find themselves in Category B, drawing a monthly salary of Rs3 million. Imad Wasim and Abdullah Shafique, with a monthly package of Rs1.5 million, represent Category C.
Category D’s last tier comprises players such as Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, and Shan Masood. These cricketers are entitled to a monthly stipend of Rs750,000.
Additionally, the PCB highlighted a revision in the match fees, with Test matches witnessing a 50% surge, one-day internationals enjoying a 25% raise, and T20 matches experiencing a 12.5% increase.
Innovations in Contractual Framework
Diverging from past practices, PCB has seamlessly integrated red-ball and white-ball national contracts. The revised contractual agreement also offers players greater flexibility, allowing them to partake in two international leagues each season. The financial terms for the upcoming three-year tenure will remain constant, though players will undergo performance evaluations on an annual basis.