Shoaib Malik, the Pakistan captain, has called for the formation of a professional cricketers' association to look after the welfare and well-being of players, if the cricketing situation does not improve in the country.
"There is a need to have a players' association," he said. "If nothing else, it will improve coordination and relations between the board and cricketers. Every country has a players' association, so why not Pakistan."
India and Pakistan are the only nations currently without an active players' association, though Pakistan vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq had submitted a formal suggestion for the formation of an association with the constitution committee of the sports ministry. However, the PCB has so far not responded enthusiastically to the suggestion.
The board is also expected to have a meeting of its governing council this month to finalise the terms and conditions of the new central contracts to be given out to shortlisted players for 2009. Malik indicated that when the PCB invited him to discuss the contracts, he would take the opportunity to table the proposal for the players' association with the board's permission.
"I support this move and would like the board to encourage us," he said. "I don't think having such an association would lead to player power or any such thing."
Pakistan has never had a recognised professional cricketers' association because of the failure of senior players to reach a consensus, and Malik said the players were interested in having an association of their own to look after their interests.
Malik's performance as captain will also be up for review by the governing council, who will then decide if his contract should be extended for another year.