PCB introduces separate red & white-ball central contracts for elite players

RAWALPINDI: As part of its strategy to incentivise, reward and encourage high-performing elite cricketers and to narrow the gap in salaries compared to players of other countries, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday announced men’s central contract lists for 2022-23, which comes into effect from Friday (July, 1).

For the first time, the PCB has introduced separate red and white-ball contracts, while four more players have been added to the Emerging Category. This means a total of 33 players, 13 more than the previous season, have received contracts for the next 12 months.

Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam, along with Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi have been awarded both red and white-ball contracts.

Amongst the 10 players who have received red-ball contracts, Azhar Ali has been promoted to Category A, Abdullah Shafique, Naseem Shah have been placed in Category C for the first time along with Saud Shakeel, who has been awarded Category D.

Fawad Alam and Nauman Ali have been retained in Category B and C, respectively, whereas Abid Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shan Masood and Yasir Shah have been handed Category D contracts.

Eleven limited-over specialists have been awarded white-ball contracts. Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan, who were in Category B in 2021-22, have been awarded Category A contracts, while Haris Rauf has been promoted to Category B. Mohammad Nawaz has been retained in Category C.

Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir have been promoted from Emerging to Category D where they are joined by first-timers Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Zahid Mehmood.

In the Emerging Category, the PCB as part of its strategy to encourage, develop and incentivise up-and-coming domestic performers, has increased the number of players from three to seven. Players in the Emerging Category are: Ali Usman, Haseebullah, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Huraira, Qasim Akram and Salman Ali Agha.

“I want to congratulate all those who have earned central contracts for the 2022-23 season, especially our four younger players who have received red-ball contracts for the first time as part of our vision and strategy to identify, groom and develop specialists for the traditional and purist format of the game,” Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim said at a news conference here at Pindi Cricket Stadium .

“I understand there will be a few disappointed players who have missed out on contracts, but I want to reiterate that we are not limiting and restricting ourselves to these 33 players. As and when required, players from outside the list will be included.

“We have also expanded our category of emerging cricketers from three to seven as it is very important for us to groom those cricketers who have potential to make it to the top level and give an incentive to those players who have excelled in our domestic tournaments,” he added.

He said while awarding contracts performance of players of the last 12 months was taken into account and both red-ball and white-ball formats had been preferred. “The quality of fitness and fielding has also been seen in the central contracts,” he added.

He said players in two different contracts would be encouraged to play both formats. He said financially the value of central contract categories was different and only those players were included who would be seen in action during the next 12 months. However, he clarified that the selection of players in the national team would not be based on central contracts only as those exhibiting standout performance in domestic cricket would also get a chance to represent the country at the international level.

Sharing the salient features of the new central contracts, he said a 10 per cent increase had been made in match fees across all formats, while increase in match fee for non-playing members had been fixed from 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the overall match fee.

According to Wasim, a captaincy allowance was also being introduced to compensate the team captain for the additional responsibilities that comes with that role. Similarly,

An amount has also been allocated for current players with the aim to manage and reduce the workload of elite players and to ensure that they are fully fit, ready and fresh whenever they play for Pakistan, he added.



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