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Sunday Aug 14 2022
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Babar Azam, other key players ask PCB to amend central contracts: report

(Right to left) Pakistan captain Babar Azam, wicket-keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, and fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi — Twitter/@iShaheenAfridi
(Right to left) Pakistan captain Babar Azam, wicket-keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, and fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi — Twitter/@iShaheenAfridi
  • Pakistan’s leading cricketers, including Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan, demand PCB amend their contracts.
  • The key players agreed to sign PCB's central contracts after successfully negotiating changes in several clauses.
  • The players expressed a significant number of reservations over the contracts. 

LAHORE: Unhappy with the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) new central contracts, Pakistan’s leading cricketers, including Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan, have asked the board to amend their contracts.

Though the key players agreed to sign the PCB's central contracts after successfully negotiating changes in several clauses, ESPNcricinfo, in its report, said that they probably signed on the condition that they will return after the Asia Cup in the second week of September to pick up discussions with the board over a couple of other clauses they remain unhappy about.

‘PCB revised central contracts on day of departure’

The players signed the contracts just before flying out for the tour to Netherlands, after the PCB revised them on the day of departure.

It is pertinent to mention here that the PCB announced 33 central contracts this season, splitting between white and red-ball players for the first time 2022-23.

As per standard practice, the PCB handed the players their copies of the contract at the start of the pre-tour camp in Lahore. Unusually, several players across categories didn't sign immediately, seeking time instead to run the contracts by their advisers and lawyers before doing so.

According to the ESPNcricinfo, a core group of senior players – Babar Azam, Afridi, Rizwan are cross-format certainties, but the group also included Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman and Hasan Ali - wanted time to go through the contracts in more detail.

The players expressed a significant number of reservations about the contract, from minor ones to those of a broader nature: these range from questions around the NOC process for participation in foreign leagues, to seeking more information about image rights in ICC events and shares from participation fees at ICC events and clauses around signing individual endorsements.

That led to a spate of meetings among the players themselves as well as with the board. Zakir Khan, the PCB's director for international cricket, led talks initially though his inflexibility on the matter led to Faisal Hasnain, the board CEO and Salman Naseer, the COO, taking a more prominent role.

It is also significant that throughout the discussions, the monthly retainer amounts and match fees were not among the points of contention. All players will receive match fees of Rs838,530 for a Test, Rs515,696 for an ODI and Rs372,075 for a T20I.

The retainer for a top Pakistan red-ball contract is Rs1,050,000 per month and Rs950,000 for a corresponding white-ball contract.