KARACHI: Pakistan announced Tuesday that its 21 cricketers on central contracts would get a 15 percent salary increase and a 10 percent rise in match fees this year.
The contracts, up for renewal in January, were finally handed to players hours before they left for Britain early Tuesday.
Dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi was lucky to retain his place in the “A” category after being dropped from the one-day squad for next month’s Champions Trophy in England and after retiring from Test cricket in 2010.
Test and one-day captain Misbah-ul Haq, Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and Younis Khan also retained their “A” category status.
The Pakistan Cricket Board keeps 21 players on central contracts in three categories, marked by three different scales for retainers and match fees.
“For the second consecutive year the players’ retainership fee has been increased by 15 percent,” a board statement said.
Spearhead Umar Gul, batsman Umar Akmal and spinner Abdul Rehman were demoted to “B” category after lacklustre performances last year.
Others in the “B” category are Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Junaid Khan, Shoaib Malik and Nasir Jamshed.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal regained his central contract after losing out last year and was placed in the “C” category along with Mohammad Irfan, Imran Farhat, Taufeeq Umar, Aizaz Cheema, Adnan Akmal, Faisal Iqbal and Ahmad Shahzad.
“The Test match fee for all categories has also been increased as well as the match fee for all formats by 10 percent from 2012,” the board said.
The increases give “A” category players a monthly salary of 359,375 rupees ($3,600) and a Test match fee of 440,000 rupees ($4,400).
“B” category players will get a monthly salary of 251,562 rupees and players in the “C” category, 143,750 rupees.