Pakistan's men's national cricket team are all set for a historic surge in their central contracts, with discussions on their participation in overseas leagues continuing. Top-draw players like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi are in line to earn PKR 4.5 million a month as a retainer, four times more than the amount in last year's contracts.
The new contracts are also likely to do away with last year's format where red-ball and white-ball ones were separate and will return to previous years with four different categories. Babar, Rizwan, and Afridi and most other all-format players will be in Category A. Category B players are in course to receive in the range of PKR 3 million, while those included in Category C and D are likely to earn between PKR 0.75-1.5 million (USD 2650-5300 approx).
Leading athletes only postponed signing contracts last year because Ramiz Raja's administration had imposed too many restrictions on participating in leagues on them. Players have complained about terms a second time since 2019, which is as close to a labour conflict as is conceivable in a setting without a players' association.
PCB likely to give more liberty to players to participate in overseas leagues:
As far as letting Pakistan players participate in overseas leagues, the PCB are still negotiating it. According to reports, the players in the top two categories are allowed to partake in one more tournament other than PSL, while those in the lower category can participate in more than one.
A few Pakistani stars are currently in the Lanka Premier League (LPL). They will participate in the 2023 Asia Cup, set to begin on August 30th. Babar Azam and co. recently secured a 2-0 series victory over Sri Lanka in their backyard.