Star Pakistani players like captain Babar Azam, vice-captain Mohammad Rizwan, and others have finally signed the amended central contracts presented by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after a week of intense negotiations between the two sides, reports suggested.
According to a report by ESPNCricinfo, the group of players signed the dotted lines before departing for the Netherlands tour on the condition that they will once again hold discussions over a couple of other clauses in the contract with the board post the Asia Cup in September.
The senior players have expressed reservations about certain facets of the contracts. The PCB announced 33 central contracts this season, splitting between white and red-ball players for the first time from 2022-23.
"These range from questions around the NOC process for participation in foreign leagues, to seeking more information about image rights in ICC events and shares from participation fees at ICC events and clauses around signing individual endorsements," the report said.
Reports stated that when the copies of the contract were presented to the players at the start of the pre-tour camp in Lahore, the players in the lower tiers signed them as such, but the senior stars did not sign immediately.
Apart from Babar, Afridi, and Rizwan, the group also included Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, and Hassan Ali. The players sought more time as they wanted to discuss the minute details of the contracts with their advisers and lawyers.
This is the first-time players and the board has had to negotiate terms of a contract as historically, players have never contested the terms of the central contracts given to them and signed right away. This event might be a marker of sorts in the changing equation between the players and the board.
According to the central contracts, the monthly retainer amounts and match fees were not among the points of contention. All players will receive match fees of Rs. 838,530 PKR (approx. US$3800) for a Test, Rs. 515,696 PKR for an ODI (approx. US$2300), and PKR 372,075 (approx. US$1700) for a T20I.
The retainer for a top Pakistan red-ball contract is PKR 1,050,000 per month (approx. US$4700) and PKR 950,000 (approx. US$4300) for a corresponding white-ball contract.