LAHORE, June 24 (APP): The Board of Governors (BoG) of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has approved 15 billion rupees budget for the year 2022-23 with 78 percent of the funds earmarked for cricket-related activities.
Chairman PCB Ramiz Raja chaired the 69th meeting of the BoG at the National High Performance Center (NHPC) Gaddafi Stadium which approved an operational activity-based annual budget for its 2022-23 fiscal year.
The PCB has budgeted a total spend of rupees 15 billion to cover enhanced central contracts for men’s and women’s cricketers, men’s and women’s international and domestic cricket events in the 2022-23 cricket season with additional local tournaments and matches, the HBL Pakistan Super League 8 and the inaugural Pakistan Junior League (PJL).
In view of the Asia Cricket Cup (ACC) 50-over Asia Cup 2023 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 to be held in Pakistan, the BoG approved an allocation of funds for the upgradation of the infrastructure and stadia, which includes floodlights, replay screens, player dressing rooms and new spectator chairs.
The BoG, during its second meeting of the calendar year, also approved recommendations to introduce schooling allowance for the PCB lower staff to support education of their children.
As part of its strategy to incentivise, reward and encourage its high-performing elite cricketers, as well as to narrow the gap in salaries compared to players of other countries, the BoG approved changes in the men’s central contracts structure with separate red and white-ball contracts with increased retainers; number of centrally contracted players increased from 20 to 33; introduction of Category “D”, which will comprise players who are staging comebacks or knocking at the doors of international cricket and 10 per cent increase in match fees across all formats.
The BoG also okayed increase in match fee for non-playing members from 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the overall match fee
The Board also gave its nod to the introduction of captaincy allowance to compensate the team captain for the additional responsibilities that come with that role
It also allocated an amount for current players with the aim to manage and reduce the workload of elite players and to ensure that they are fully fit, ready and fresh whenever they play for Pakistan.
The BoG approved 15 per cent increase in retainers across all categories, with a single contract concept in the central contract for women Cricketers. In addition to this, the pool of women’s centrally contracted players may be increased from 20 players to up to 25 players.
The list for men and women central contracts 2022-23, is yet to be announced by the PCB and it will come into effect from July 1, 2022.
The BoG approved creation of Pakistan Cricket Foundation (PCF) as a charitable trust and it will be part of the PCB’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative with an aim to look after the welfare and well being of its retired cricketers, match officials, scorers and ground staff. The PCB will make the eligibility and qualification criteria public in due course.
Initially, the BoG has approved, in principle, an allocation (donation) of PKR 100 million to the Pakistan Cricket Foundation over the course of the forthcoming financial year.
The BoG approved amendments to the City Cricket Associations’ territorial jurisdictions in line with geographical demarcations, and also approved affiliation regulations to be complied with for future City Cricket Associations to be recognised. The documents are available on the PCB corporate website under Documents/PCB Model Constitutions.
As per approved amendments, Balochistan will have 13 districts, Central Punjab will have 18 districts, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will have 19 districts, Northern will have 11 districts, Sindh will have 17 districts and Southern Punjab will have 14 districts.
The BoG congratulated the PCB management for successfully holding and concluding an uninterrupted first-ever HBL Pakistan Super League 7 at home earlier this year. The BoG noted and appreciated the 81 per cent increase in media and sponsorship revenues, as compared to the previous edition.
The BoG approved building of additional rooms as player residences in Lahore, Karachi and Multan.
The BoG, in its 69th meeting, hailed 21-year-old leg-spinner Tuba Hassan, who became the first Pakistan women player to win the ICC’s Women’s Player of the Month (for May 2022). The BOG was confident that the women’s team will produce strong performances in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, ICC Women’s Championship and ICC Women’s T20 World Cups.
The PCB Chairman provided an update on the Pakistan Junior League (PJL), which will be held in Lahore in October. The BoG was informed of the keen interest amongst the commercial partners as well as the ICC Member Boards, who have expressed their support by agreeing to release their players.
The BoG expressed its delight with the Chairman’s decision to increase pensions of former Test cricketers, under the PCB Players’ Welfare Policy.
The BoG noted with satisfaction that 314 matches in 12 national tournaments were held in the 2021-22 domestic season. This helped domestic players earn between PKR 3.7million to PKR 5 million through the PCB Domestic Player Contracts. This was in addition to the over 200 former cricketers, who are presently employed by the PCB in various roles, including administrative and coaching roles.
The BoG received an update on the ongoing club scrutiny, which is being carried out by the renowned international audit firm, KPMG. They were also informed that 3,822 clubs featured in 7009 matches across six Cricket Associations. Additionally, around 1,300 school matches were also organised by the Cricket Associations.
In his note of thanks, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja said since September 2021, Pakistan men’s cricket team has achieved an impressive 75 per cent success-rate across all formats, which is the highest amongst all the Test playing nations. This has contributed in Pakistan improving its rankings, which now stands at fifth in Tests (up by one), third in ODIs (up by three and the highest since January 2017) and third in T20Is (up by one).
“With this background, and in line with our philosophy that revolves around acknowledging, appreciating and rewarding high-performing players, I am pleased with the enhancements in the 2022-23 central contracts. I remain committed to looking after our national cricketers who bring joy to the fans and laurels for the country. These players are our pride, and always need to be well looked after and properly valued so that they can continue to flourish in their field of expertise”, he said.
Ramiz said the thought-process behind splitting red and white-ball contracts is to recognize importance of white-ball cricket in the growth and development of the game, adding that Pakistan cricket is to take part in four international events in the next 16 months, including two World Cups. He said this recognition of offering contracts to white-ball specialists will help us to eventually develop two separate squads, which could simultaneously be engaged in white and red-ball cricket as this will also allow us to have a bigger spread of talent to showcase to the world.
“To discourage our elite players from signing up for additional off-season events, we have allocated substantial pool of funds. This amount will be used to compensate them for their potential loss in earnings and will also manage their workload and ensure that they remain fully fit, fresh and ready when required on national duty”, PCB Chairman remarked.
He further said that the BoG has approved a donation of PKR 100 million for PCF,adding, “We will invite donors and sponsors to contribute and raise funds so that we have sufficient money in our coffers to look after all those in desperate need of the fund’s assistance and support.