Leading Pakistani cricketers Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan have signed their revised central contracts ahead of Pakistan’s tour of the Netherlands and the Asia Cup.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had presented the contracts to the players a week ago but they remained unsigned due to the players’ reservations about several clauses. After days of impasse, the parties managed to find the middle ground in discussion and sign the amended deals the day of their departure for the Netherlands tour.
It is understood that further discussions will take place after the team returns from participating in the upcoming Asia Cup with NOCs for lucrative leagues around the world a main topic of discussion.
After awarding the 33 central contracts this season, split between white and red-ball players for the first time, PCB handed the players their copies at the start of the pre-tour camp in Lahore but several players refused to sign immediately.
Babar, Afridi, Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman and Hasan Ali were part of the core group which demanded more time to study the contracts in detail and objected to multiple clauses.
Their reservations are understood to be concerned with the NOC process for participation in foreign leagues, seeking more information about image rights in ICC events and shares from participation fees at ICC events and clauses around signing individual endorsements.
A Pakistani captain, Babar Azam in this case, challenging the board for revised central contracts is unprecedented.
Babar, Shaheen and Rizwan are certainly aware of their market value based on the growing number of lucrative leagues around the world.
The pay, however, was not the issue of contention in the negotiations. The players will continue to receive match fees of Rs. 838,530 PKR for Tests, Rs. 515,696 PKR for ODI’s and PKR 372,075 (approx. US$1700) for a T20I’s.