The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) presented its players with the amended central contract at the start of the pre-tour camp in Lahore. While close to a dozen players in lower categories did sign the contracts immediately, a core group of senior players - Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, and Mohammad Rizwan did not sign immediately. It’s reported that these players had issues with a few clauses in the contract and wanted to discuss it with the board.
The PCB held a discussion with these players and they signed the dotted lines before leaving for the Netherlands. However, it’s reported that the players have signed on the condition that they will return after the Asia Cup in the second week of September to pick up discussions with the board over a couple of other clauses they remain unhappy about. Other than Babar, Rizwan, and Shaheen, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman and Hasan Ali are also not happy with the amendments.
The players expressed a significant number of reservations about the contract, from minor ones to those of a broader nature. 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.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s the first such instance when players have objected to the contracts made by the Pakistan Cricket Board. Historically, the PCB hasn't formally negotiated with players while writing contracts and on their part, players have rarely disputed any aspect of the contracts other than ensuring satisfactory annual pay rises. So, this small protest can be seen as a marker of sorts in player-board relations.
However, while there are some issues in the clause, the players seem happy about the match fees as there was no mention of it throughout the discussion. 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.