After months of negotiations, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the men’s national team players have reportedly reached an agreement concerning central contracts. Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq is reported to have played a pivotal role in resolving long-standing issues.
Despite the previous central contracts expiring on June 30, the PCB has not yet officially announced the new contracts, which has been a topic of concern and discussion in cricketing circles. The negotiations involved addressing various aspects of the central contract, including a proposed salary increase for the national cricketers.
As reported by The News Pakistan, Inzamam-ul-Haq played a crucial role in bridging the gap between the PCB and the players by facilitating a resolution based on ‘mutual understanding’ to address the concerns raised by the players regarding the central contracts.
Babar Azam, the captain of the Pakistan cricket team, addressed the ongoing central contract negotiations during a press conference in Lahore ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023. While confirming that the contracts were still under negotiation, he expressed optimism about reaching a positive resolution.
“As far as the contracts are concerned, they are still being negotiated, but we are hopeful they will work out as the PCB always has our interests at heart,” said Captain Babar Azam.
Under the proposed central contract structure, cricketers are expected to receive compensation based on their category. Last year, the PCB introduced separate red and white-ball contracts, marking a significant departure from Pakistan cricket’s historical practices. However, it has now been decided to discontinue these categories in favor of a new system featuring four categories: A, B, C, and D.
Category A will encompass players representing all formats, including prominent names like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi. These Category A players are set to earn a monthly salary of PKR 4.5 million.
In Category B, players will receive a monthly salary of PKR 3 million. The newly proposed categories C and D will offer salaries ranging from PKR 0.75 million to 1.5 million.
Below is the list of players in the respective categories as per the proposed central contract structure for 2022-23:
Red & White-Ball Contracts:
- Category A: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi
- Category B (Red-ball): Hasan Ali
- Category C (White-ball): Hasan Ali
- Category C (Red-ball): Imam-ul-Haq
- Category B (White-ball): Imam-ul-Haq
Red Ball Contracts:
- Category A: Azhar Ali
- Category B: Fawad Alam
- Category C: Abdullah Shafique, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali
- Category D: Abid Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah
White Ball Contracts:
- Category A: Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan
- Category B: Haris Rauf
- Category C: Mohammad Nawaz
- Category D: Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir, Zahid Mehmood
- Ali Usman (Southern Punjab)
- Haseebullah (Balochistan)
- Kamran Ghulam (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
- Mohammad Haris (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
- Mohammad Huraira (Northern)
- Qasim Akram (Central Punjab)
- Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab)
The successful resolution of central contract negotiations marks a positive development for Pakistan cricket as it heads into the ICC World Cup 2023 and beyond. With the players and PCB reaching a mutual understanding, the focus can now shift to on-field performances.