PCB, players reach 'agreement' over central contract dispute

Issue resolved via "mutual understanding" after players had objected to certain contractual provisions

By Sohail Imran
September 26, 2023
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). — PCB website

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the players of the men's cricket team are said to have reached an "agreement" on their months-long central contract dispute.

Sources say that chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq played a pivotal role in facilitating the resolution of this matter via "mutual understanding" after players had objected to various central contract provisions.


The board, which hasn't made the announcement yet, is expected to announce the new central contracts soon, sources said.

Commenting on the issue while addressing a press briefing earlier in the day, Pakistan's skipper Babar Azam said that the contacts were "being negotiated".

"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," the captain said.

It is pertinent to know that previous central contracts had expired on June 30, prompting a one-month extension to finalise the terms. Under the new contract, the outstanding payments owed to the cricketers will be settled in accordance with the updated terms and conditions.

Earlier, the PCB had decided to end the red and white ball category from the central contracts. The new contracts will be distributed in four different categories, named A, B, C and D, to the players.

The board has also decided to reduce the number of players — which was 33 in the last year — in the central contract to 25 or 26.

Furthermore, the players are also expected to get a historic rise of about 50% increase in their match fees in new contracts.

Captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi are included in category A and are the top earners with Rs4.5 million a month as a retainer, almost four times higher than last year’s offer.

In Category B, players will earn around Rs3 million, while the players in Category C and D will be paid between Rs0.75-1.5 million.

It is to be noted that the Pakistan men's team will leave for India during the wee hours of Wednesday morning to participate in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.

The mega event will be played in a round-robin format with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches.

Schedule of Pakistan's warm-up matches

September 29 - vs New Zealand in Hyderabad

October 3 - vs Australia in Hyderabad

Schedule of Pakistan’s main round matches

October 6 - vs Netherlands in Hyderabad

October 10 - vs Sri Lanka in Hyderabad

October 14 - vs India in Ahmedabad

October 20 - vs Australia in Bengaluru

October 23 - vs Afghanistan in Chennai

October 27 - vs South Africa in Chennai

October 31 - vs Bangladesh in Kolkata

November 4 - vs New Zealand Bengaluru (Day match)

November 11 - vs England in Kolkata

The day matches will start at 10:00am Pakistan Standard Time (PST) while all other matches will be day-night fixtures starting at 01:30pm (PST).

If Pakistan qualify for the semi-finals, they will play in Kolkata.

If India qualifies for the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai unless playing against Pakistan, in which case they will play in Kolkata.

Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2023

Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, M Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha.

Travelling reserves: Mohammad Haris, Abrar Ahmed, Zaman Khan