Cricket enthusiasts and players in Pakistan have reason to rejoice as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has unveiled an exciting roadmap for the 2023-24 domestic cricket season.
The latest development promises to bring more competition, quality cricket, and enhanced earning opportunities for players while striving to create a level playing field among regional and departmental teams.
Here’s a breakdown of the structure and categories within the new domestic cricket contracts:
In the upcoming season, as many as 360 cricketers representing 18 regional teams are set to be offered domestic cricket contracts. The structure is thoughtfully divided into seven categories, each catering to specific player profiles:
- A+ Category (20 players): The cream of the crop, these players will receive Rs. 300,000 each.
- A Category (30 players): High-performing individuals who will pocket Rs. 200,000 each.
- B Category (30 players): Players in this category will receive Rs. 185,000 each.
- C Category (30 players): The cricketers here will earn Rs. 170,000 each.
- D Category (30 players): Players in this category will be awarded Rs. 150,000 each.
- E Category (50 players): These cricketers will earn Rs. 100,000 each.
- F Category (170 players): The remaining players in this category will receive Rs. 50,000 each.
The significance of these categories lies not only in the monetary rewards but also in the recognition and opportunities they offer players at different stages of their careers.
The selection process for the categories is thorough and fair, designed to identify and reward outstanding performances across various tournaments over the past three seasons. The criteria for each category are as follows:
- A+ and A Categories: Based on recommendations by the central contract committee and the performance of top batters and bowlers in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (QeAT) over the last three seasons.
- B Category: For international players in current regional squads, along with top performers in QeAT, Pakistan Cup, and National T20.
- C Category: Catering to players with a significant track record, including those who have played 50 or more first-class matches, represented Pakistan Shaheens/Emerging, or been part of the Pakistan squad in the last year.
- D Category: Focusing on top performers in National T20, Second XI Championship, Challenge, and T20, along with players who represented Pakistan U-19 in the last two years.
- E Category: Encompassing players with experience in representing Pakistan Shaheens, Pakistan emerging team, or Pakistan U-19, along with those who have played 20 or more first-class matches.
- F Category: All remaining players didn’t fall into the previous categories.
Financial Incentives and Match Fees
In addition to the contract amounts, the PCB has revised match fees to provide players with more attractive compensation.
Players participating in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy will now earn Rs. 80,000 per game, while those in the Hanif Mohammad Trophy and white-ball tournaments (Pakistan Cup and National T20) will receive Rs. 40,000 per match.
Even non-playing members of first-class teams will receive Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 20,000 per match in white-ball cricket, respectively.
A Holistic Approach
Junaid Zia, Director of Domestic Cricket Operations (A), emphasized that the PCB’s commitment extends beyond the field to ensure the well-being of cricketers.
The revamped domestic structure, framed by the PCB Cricket Technical Committee in consultation with stakeholders, strives to provide ample opportunities and rewards to players while fostering healthy competition.
The unveiling of the 2023-24 domestic cricket contracts in Pakistan is undoubtedly a meaningful step for the country’s cricketing ecosystem.
With its carefully designed categories and selection criteria, the PCB sends a strong message of support and encouragement to cricketers at various stages of their careers.
As the cricketing season kicks off with the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy on September 10th, fans and players eagerly anticipate the unfolding of a new chapter in Pakistan’s cricketing journey.