Major Pakistani players agree to modified central contracts

After several days of deadlock, a group of prominent Pakistani players, including Captain Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan, agreed to sign the central PCB contracts – but only after successfully negotiating amendments to several clauses.

The band signed the contracts almost a week after receiving them and just before flying out for the tour in the Netherlands, after the PCB reviewed them on the day of departure. But ESPNcricinfo understands the players signed on the condition that they return after the Asian Cup in the second week of September to resume talks with the board over a few other clauses they remain unhappy with.

The PCB has announced 33 central contracts this season, split between white and red ball players for the first time 2022-23. In line with usual 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 all categories did not sign immediately, instead seeking time to have contracts enforced by their advisers and lawyers before doing so. In the past, players signed and returned contracts immediately.

Almost a dozen players in the lower categories signed the contracts immediately, but a core of senior players – Babar, Afridi, Rizwan are multi-format certainties, but the group also included Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman and Hasan Ali – wanted time to leave. through the contracts in more detail. These players are believed to have objected to multiple clauses in a contract which the PCB usually concludes unilaterally, given that there is no players’ association in Pakistan.

Players have expressed a significant number of reservations about the contract, from the most minor to the most broad: these range from questions about the NOC’s process for participation in foreign leagues, to seeking more information on the rights of image in ICC events and participation actions. fees at ICC events and clauses relating to the signing of individual endorsements.

This led to a series of meetings between the players themselves as well as with the board. Zakir Khan, the PCB’s director for international cricket, initially led discussions, although his inflexibility on the issue led Faisal Hasnain, the CEO of the board and Salman Naseer, the COO, to play a more involved role. important. Common ground was finally found on most issues, although discussions will continue on the NOC for foreign leagues and ICC-related issues after the Asian Cup.

Historically, the PCB has not formally negotiated with players when drafting contacts and, for their part, players have rarely challenged any aspect of contracts beyond the guarantee of satisfactory annual salary increases. Against this backdrop, and the fact that there is no playing corps in the country, the retreat of a group of elite domestic cricketers, more aware than ever not only of their commercial value but of their rights as employees, could be seen as a kind of marker in the player. – relations with the board of directors. Even until late Thursday, as Pakistan prepared for the start, there was a real chance that the captain, star fast bowler and wicket-striker – among others – would travel without having signed a contract.

It is also significant that throughout the discussions, monthly fee amounts and match fees were not among the points of contention. All players will receive a match fee of Rs. 838,530 PKR (approx. USD 3,800) for a test, Rs. 515,696 PKR for an ODI (approx. USD 2,300) and 372,075 PKR (approx. T20I. The provision for a red ball contract in Pakistan is 1,050,000 PKR per month (about 4,700 USD) and 950,000 PKR (about 4,300 USD) for a corresponding white ball contract.