PCB concedes to Babar Azam & Co’s demands before Asia Cup
A positive progression for Pakistan cricket. The standoff between the players and the PCB is almost to an end, and it will be a win for Babar Azam and company.
Zaka Ashraf, the chief executive officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), will be travelling to Sri Lanka in order to discuss the Pakistan Cricket Central contract with prominent players in front of the Asia Cup in 2023.
As things now stand, the PCB has given in to the players' demand that they be allowed to participate in more than one T20 competition overseas.
To bring this to your attention, Babar Azam and his teammates have been playing without the benefit of a central contract for the past two months.
PCB attempted to run over the process by declaring a significant increase in the amount of money players are paid, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The players were dissatisfied with the restrictions that were placed on their ability to participate in overseas Twenty20 leagues that offer mega-money contracts.
On the other hand, with a pay increase and flexibility in several stipulations, an agreement is anticipated to be finalised before the Asia Cup in 2023.
However, at this point in time, players and the PCB have reached an agreement over the NOCs (No Objection Certificates). Grade A players now have the option of competing in not one but two different overseas T20 leagues. If a player is not under contract with a club, they are free to play as many games as they choose as long as those games do not interfere with their participation in any national team competitions.
According to sources cited by ESPNCricinfo, both the players and the PCB wished to take a "common sense approach with the goal of ensuring that players continue to be able to earn."
Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi will receive Pakistan Cricket central contract relief before the Asia Cup 2023 and the World Cup 2023 after the PCB has conceded to their requests.
Pakistan Cricket Central Contract: Contentious issues
Babar Azam & Co were not happy with how unsettled the board was.
With every new Prime Minister, there has been a change in the PCB office bearers and their ideas too.
With Najam Sethi lasting just three months after Ramiz Raja was removed, Zaka Ashraf took charge.
Players have not been happy with the retainership either. While PCB is not amongst the richest cricket boards, the players certainly are some of the most popular worldwide. But they have not been equally compensated.
With mushrooming T20 leagues, they have a chance, especially with ILT20. However, PCB was in no mood to relent and allow players.
This time, PCB put up a clause where Grade A players could only play one overseas T20 league.
Now after players refused to accept that, PCB has relented. Grade A players like Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi and Muhammad Rizwan can now opt for two overseas leagues.
Shaheen Afridi played in The Hundred and will also play in ILT20 League in UAE.
Currently, PCB has greater control over players’ image rights. But the likes of Babar Azam & other players want flexibility with signing non-exclusive sponsorship deals.
Players currently cannot sign contracts with any other soft drinks company like Coca-Cola with Pepsi being a long-term PCB sponsor.
Zaka Ashraf is currently in Sri Lanka before Asia Cup 2023 to discuss the contract issues with players.