In what appears to be a climbdown of sorts, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is considering introducing a central contracts system once again linked to the seniority of players.
A senior board official told Telepk.Com that a number of different models were being examined and would be presented at the next ad-hoc committee meeting on June 17. The options include giving weight to seniority and using a similar grade system to the one that was in use under the previous administration, where greater experience equalled greater reward.
This seems to be a contradiction of the board's earlier plans, outlined in the immediate aftermath of Pakistan's World Cup exit, when chairman Nasim Ashraf said that all existing central contracts stood suspended and new ones would be performance-based only.
Shafqat Naghmi, chief operating officer, told Telepk.Com, "We are looking at various models and options and considering have an ABC graded system. One model is where the player's pay will be based on a 20% weightage to seniority, 40% to last year's performances based on a ranking system, 20% to discipline and 20% to fitness. But as far as discipline and fitness go, it might be unfair to include it this year as a proper system has to be put in place first to measure discipline and fitness."
Naghmi confirmed that basic match fees for all players, regardless of experience, will remain the same (though an increase on previous years according to Ashraf) and only the actual monthly retainer is likely to vary. Other options include doing away with gradations of players based on seniority altogether but it appears unlikely that the model will be approved.
A group of senior players met the board yesterday to discuss the options available, Naghmi revealing that they were keen for the old system to be put in place again. "Any new model can potentially be more lucrative for players. We are going to introduce for example, fielding-based incentives, where players will be rewarded for fielding achievements like run-outs."
Once a system has been approved by the ad-hoc committee, the contracts will be handed out to 20 players from July 1st.