Cricketers may decline central contracts

Our Correspondent
Monday, Jun 24, 2024

LAHORE: Following the Pakistani cricket team’s early exit from the T20 World Cup 2024, sources have indicated that players may refuse to sign central contracts if they are demoted.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is currently awaiting comprehensive reports from head coach Gary Kirsten and senior manager Wahab Riaz. These reports are crucial for the PCB’s decision-making process regarding the future of central contracts and team selection.

Earlier reports suggested that Pakistan’s white-ball captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan might be demoted from Category A in their central contracts. There are growing concerns that demotions might lead players to reject the central contracts, preferring the freedom to play without restrictions. This move could significantly impact the PCB’s ability to manage and field a cohesive team.

A new, smaller selection committee is set to be established to finalise the central contracts. Despite the changes, the salaries of national cricketers are expected to remain unchanged. The PCB’s decision to review the central contracts stems from the national team’s disappointing performance in the T20 World Cup 2024. The team was eliminated early, failing to progress to the Super Eight stage after losing their initial matches against the United States and India.

A PCB representative said: “The review process is critical for us to understand the underlying issues and make informed decisions about the future of our team. We aim to ensure that our central contracts reflect both performance and the need for a cohesive team strategy.” Said Sources: “Work on the new central contract is ongoing, and the PCB is carefully considering all aspects to avoid any disruptions.”