Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in a first, has issued short-term four-month contracts to six cricketers who were not included in the original list of players to be given central contracts earlier this year.
A official in the board confirmed that pace bowlers Mohammad Talha, Mohammad Sami, Tabish Khan and Umaid Asif, all-rounder Fawad Alam and leg-spinner Yasir Shah have been given four-month contracts worth Rs. 40,000 per month from September to December. "These players were given the short term contracts after the board committee and selectors reviewed their performances of late," the official said.
"These players were not included in the original list of players given central contracts and retainers in May," he added. The players with central contracts and retainers are being paid a much higher monthly retainer as compared to the ones given the short-term contracts.
For instance, category 'A' players in the central contracts get 313,000 monthly, while those given retainers also get paid around 75,000 per month. This fact obviously has left the six players unhappy. The board had faced criticism for omitting Sami and Talha, in particular, from the original list after their fine performances in domestic and international cricket.
Sami was neither given a central contract nor a retainer despite being named in the squad for all three formats of the game for the tour of Sri Lanka in July. The PCB, in a major blooper, also announced a retainer for Peshawar batsman Bismillah Khan who had already been banned for an altercation in a Grade-II match last season.
The criticism led to the PCB chief Zaka Ashraf asking a special committee to review the whole matter, and the matter was also raised at the last governing council after which the board decided to award the short-term contracts.
One of the players noted that they had suffered for no fault of theirs. "Now even when the board has tried to make amends, it has done it half-heartedly giving us four months and a low retainer. There is no mention about the months wasted this year," a player said.