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Updated January 23rd, 2024 at 15:31 IST

Pakistan cricketers mull ending contract after being denied NOCs for playing in foreign leagues

Most of the centrally contracted players are upset with the Pakistan Cricket board (PCB) for not allowing them to play in foreign leagues despite being free. They were refused NOCs to go and play in foreign T20 leagues.

PCB
PCB | Image:PTI
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Some of the top cricketers are contemplating terminating their central contracts with the Pakistan Cricket Board after some were refused NOCs to go and play in foreign T20 leagues.

According to sources in the team management, most of the centrally contracted players are upset with the board for not allowing them to play in foreign leagues despite being free from national commitments.

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"The matter has come to a head because recently the board refused NOCs to some players including Zaman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Muhammad Haris (all centrally contracted) to play in the Bangladesh Premier League on the grounds that they had already played two leagues besides the Pakistan Super League," a source said.

He said under the current PCB policy finalised during the tenure of Zaka Ashraf, centrally contracted players would be allowed to play in two foreign T20 leagues besides the PSL.

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"But for the players who are not centrally contracted there is no such binding unless they are required on national duty." But most of the contracted players believe the board is following a dual policy based on whims and fancies when it comes to issuing NOCs.

"The players feel that when there is no Pakistan assignment before the PSL why should the board stop them from playing in other leagues where they have good contracts," another source said.

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"The players' grouse is that the PCB does not even pay them anything to cover the losses of contracts not accepted because of PCB policies." With the mushrooming of lucrative T20 leagues around the cricket world at present three leagues are being simultaneously held including the BPL, International Emirates League in UAE and the South Africa 20 league, meaning, potentially more earning opportunities for players.

A board official confided that the players need to understand that they are being compensated if they follow the cap on leagues as they are paid a hefty monthly salary by the board under their central contracts regardless of whether they are playing or not.

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"The top category players are getting paid around 6 million rupees salary, those in category B get around 4.8 million so why are they complaining," the source questioned.

But an agent for one of the players said that one the board deducted heavy taxes from those salaries and top players were getting offers of earning between USD 100,000 to USD 300,000 for playing five to six matches or more in a league.

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"Do you know the contract value of Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi for the BPL and ILT. Suffice to say one of them has a contract for USD 300,000 which is around 75 to 80 million rupees." He also noted that the leagues were a major revenue source for players who didn’t have contracts with the PCB. He said that some players had even discussed terminating their contracts with the board and becoming free agents.

“I think when the new Chairman takes over there will be proper discussions between the players and board to resolve this NOCs issue.”

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Published January 23rd, 2024 at 15:31 IST

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