The Pakistan Cricket Board PCB announced transparent 2020-21 contracts for 192 domestic players, which were based strictly on criteria, performance, and forward-looking approach.
According to PCB from the 192 players, 10 have been awarded A Plus category comprising leading performers from the 2019-20 first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and players part of the national squad but without a central or emerging contract.
These players are
- Bilal Asif (Central Punjab),
- Fahim Ashraf (Central Punjab),
- Fawad Alam (Sindh),
- Imran Butt (Balochistan),
- Imran Khan Snr (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa),
- Kashif Bhatti (Balochistan),
- Khushdil Shah (Southern Punjab),
- Nauman Ali (Northern)
- Sohail Khan (Sindh)
- Zafar Gohar (Central Punjab)
Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan men’s national team head coach and chief selector, who selected players for the A Plus category, said: “I want to congratulate the 10 players for securing the newly-introduced A Plus category contracts, which is a reward for their efforts and hard work in the 2019-20 season that either earned them recognition in domestic cricket or places in the Pakistan men’s national team.
“I accept there will be a few players who will feel hard done but we could only pick a maximum of 10 players in this category. I want to assure every high-performing player that he will remain available for selection in the side and depending on how he performs in the 2020-21 season, will be in line for an increment next year.
“We want to make Pakistan cricket tough, competitive, and performance-based, and this slab-based retainer policy is a reflection of this strategy. I am confident this will induce more passion amongst the players, which, in turn, will not only benefit the players but also Pakistan cricket.”
Category A comprises 38 players, including 10 best performers from the 2019-20 domestic season or the ones who have previously represented Pakistan at the highest level.
Category B includes 47 players who have played T20Is, are amongst the top 10 performers of the National T20 Cup (First XI) 2019-20, had a good first-class season in 2019-20 or have represented Pakistan Shaheens/Emerging since 2019.
Category C includes 71 players who either featured in HBL PSL 2019 and 2020, were amongst the performers of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (First and Second XI) 2019-20 performers, top 10 performers of the Pakistan Cup 2018-19, best batsman/bowler of Patron’s Trophy Grade-II 2018-19 or have represented Pakistan in age-group cricket.
Category D boasts all other 26 players who are part of the six Cricket Association sides.
PCB Director High Performance, Nadeem Khan said “I have always believed and emphasized on criteria and performance-based contracts and this is reflective in the 2020-21 domestic player contract categories.
“While setting up the criteria, we have also moved from a fixed slab retainer structure to a category-based retainer structure because I think it is fair on leading or experienced players to be treated and paid differently to a beginner or a starter. Furthermore, this is also consistent to how we offer central contracts to our elite cricketers.
“Through this model, we have also ensured we retain and protect our age-group cricketers, who in the past have dropped out either due to non-selection or non-recognition. These eight U19 cricketers who played in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 and 11 Emerging/Shaheen players will now remain part of the system and will get their opportunities to improve and move in an upward direction.
“From these 192 domestic contracted players, 146 cricketers are those who were without any jobs while 24 had contractual employments. This indicates that the PCB looks after the wellbeing of all the talented and high-performing cricketers and remains on track to introducing professionalism in cricket, which is the only way to excellence.”