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    Pak players will have to sign tour contracts

    Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board has made it clear that even if a player does not sign the central contract offered to him, he still has to sign a tour contract before each series in order to play for the national team.

    A senior PCB official told PTI that any player who didn't sign the central contract offered to him would have to forgo the monthly retainer offered to him plus the full year medical insurance coverage provided to him under the contract.

    "If a player doesn't sign the central contract offered to him he will not get the monthly retainer plus he will be paid match fees in the category C while he will only be medically insured for a particular tour and not for the whole year as is the policy of the board," the official said.

    "No player can be considered to play for the national team unless he signs a central contract or tour contract."

    Media reports have said that some of the senior players led by captain Misbah-ul-Haq were not happy with some of the stringent clauses in the new central contracts offered to them and also with the pay hike given to them by the board. These players had also asked the board to review the clauses. The official admitted that the players had asked the board to extend the deadline for signing the contracts when it was offered to them around May 26.

    "The players content_cnion was that since the contracts were offered to them just prior to leaving for Sri Lanka they wanted more time to study the contracts," the official said.

    He confirmed that some senior players had also spoken to the board about reviewing the pay raise of 25 per cent in the central contract monthly retainers and 10 per cent hike in the match fees offered in the new contracts.

    "It was explained to the players that it was for the first time after 2008 that the board had given a pay raise to the players and that it was not in a strong enough financial position to enhance these raises anymore," the official said.

    The official also confirmed that the PCB was still waiting for captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan and Mohammad Hafeez to sign the category A central contracts offered to them. He said so far former captain Shoaib Malik and many other players including Ahmed Shehzad, Abdul Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema, Faisal Iqbal, Taufiq Umar, Nasir Jamshed, Adnan Akmal had signed the contracts.

    He said keeping in mind the players' wishes, the board had given them an extra few days to study the contracts before signing them and sending them back to it. "Normally we give the players around 10 days to study the contracts and sign them this time on their request we have given them an extension but we expect all contracts to be signed during the Sri Lanka tour," he said.

    He said one reason for giving the extension to the players was to allow them to focus on the series in Sri Lanka and not complain about being pushed by the board.