ICL: Indian Cricket League

PCB says relations with players over pay raises cordial


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) negated the impression that it might be heading towards a confrontation with the country’s leading players over the pay raise issue.

A PCB official told ‘The News’ that reports suggesting that the Board and players are heading towards a sort of a confrontation are the figment of some people’s imagination.

“This is not an issue at all,” said Abbas Zaidi, PCB’s Director of Board Operations on telephone from Lahore. “There is no truth in any of the reports because the Board has not received any demands from the players for a pay raise,” he added.

There have been reports in the media that the country’s top players are demanding a pay raise ahead of this summer’s tour of England. The reports suggest that the players want a hundred percent increase in their pays next month when their central contracts would come up for a review.

“The funniest part in these reports is the bit that says the players want a pay raise before they go to England,” said Zaidi. “It seems as if they are underpaid and are unable to manage without an increment before they go to England. It is really absurd,” he said pointing out that the Pakistani cricketers are among the richest sportsmen in the region.

He, however, conceded that the players might be expecting a raise when their contracts are reviewed next month. “Everybody expects to be rewarded at the end of the year. But to say that the players and the Board are heading for a tussle over money matters is totally wrong.”

Zaidi said that the Board enjoys very good relations with the country’s top cricketers and wants to keep it that way.

Zaidi said that the PCB would compare its pay scale with the cricket bodies of other major cricket-playing nations while reviewing the contracts next month.

He said that the Ad-hoc Committee would review the contracts of the players, adding that the good performances of the players will not go unrewarded.

Zaidi expects that young pacer Mohammad Asif and batsman Faisal Iqbal would be included in the Central Contract System following their impressive showing in recent months. Asif and Faisal are currently in the list of second string players getting a monthly stipend.

He said that the Board would also keep looking after fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed, who is out of international cricket till the end of this year following an International Cricket Committee (ICC) ban over an illegal bowling action.

“We don’t abandon the players,” said Zaidi. “We are trying to assist Shabbir in his efforts to make a return (to international cricket) as soon as possible but even if he can’t, the player would be kept on contract and would be paid like all his colleagues.”

Zaidi said that the Ad-hoc Committee would also review the list of junior and second string players on the list and might include some newcomers adding that there is no limit on the number of players on the pay roll. “Any player good enough would certainly make the list,” he assured.

Source:The News

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