Some of the senior members of the team are trying to pressurise the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) into reviewing its decision of extending central contracts by three months and instead want the extension to run till the end of 2015.
The PCB had recently announced that it will be extending the existing central contracts till March 31, which meant that new contracts would be given after the 2015 World Cup.
But the board is standing its ground as it believes there is no point in giving a 12-month contract right now and the decision of a three-month extension is right. One of the reasons for the board’s adamance is that two of Pakistan’s senior players – skipper Misbahul Haq and Shahid Afridi – have already announced their decision to retire from ODIs after the World Cup.
The PCB feels that Afridi and Misbah will not be playing in two formats after the World Cup – with Afridi to focus only on T20s and Misbah on Tests – thus there is no point in giving such players a full year contract.
“There is already a clause present in central contracts that allows the PCB to extend by up to six months and we have used that to extend the contracts by three months,” a PCB official told The Express Tribune. “We’ve made a cut-off date of March 31, which gives us a chance to have fair look at where our team stands once the likes of Afridi and Misbah depart.”
The official went on to add that the board has also kept the team’s unity and motivation in mind when making the decision. “Changes to the current contracts would cause both positive and negative impact on the players,” he said. “Promotion can provide motivation but at the same time a demotion can shake confidence as well.”
Players want change in incentives policy
The players are also trying to convince the board to reactivate the clause in which they are given incentives for each match won, rather than for only winning a series.
The board officials, however, claim that incentives on series wins were included so that the team’s performances and ranking can go up.
“We’ve included the series win incentive so that the players fight in all matches, which would result in improvement of our ranking and performances,” said the official. “It would be stupid to once again activate the clause and give incentives to players even if we lose a series.”
Board wants quick resolution
The official added that the matter will soon be resolved so that the team can focus on the cricket and the World Cup ahead. “We don’t want a deadlock with the World Cup so near,” he said. “The matter will be put to bed amicably in order to avoid turmoil or a situation like the one faced by the West Indies.”
The players are also urging the PCB to devise new contracts on the basis of their performances of 2014 instead of just focusing on the New Zealand series and the World Cup.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2015.
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