Pakistan’s centrally-contracted players are mentally prepared for pay cuts if the health crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic persisted for a few months, Test captain Azhar Ali said on Saturday.
In a video interaction with the media, Azhar said he and his colleagues are aware that the situation is not ideal due to the COVID-19, which has halted sporting activities across the globe.
“It is not a good situation for any country and we know that if this lockdown situation continued for a few months, the Board might ask us to take pay cuts in the old or new central contacts,” Azhar said.
“If such a situation arises that we are asked to take pay cuts we are mentally prepared for it and we will sit down with the Board and take the best decisions.”
The PCB has so far said it would ensure payment of the monthly salaries of all centrally-contracted payers and those who have been given domestic cricket contracts at least until end of June.
But the board has made it clear even it is not sure what scenario would emerge after June.
The PCB last year after trimming the list of players from 33 to 19 gave central contracts in different categories running from 1st August to 30th June 2020.
Babar Azam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Yasir Shah are in category A while there are eight cricketers, including Azhar, are in category B. The category C also has eight players, including Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir.
The centrally contracted players get monthly salaries ranging from 300,000 to 12 lakhs.
Azhar also backed the suggestion of head coach and chief selector, Misbah-ul-Haq that the ICC should extend the World Test Championship in April whenever cricket resumes so that every team gets a proper chance to gather points and play in the final.
PCB AIMS TO OVERHAUL
The Pakistan Cricket Board has released two of its long-serving employees — former Test players Haroon Rasheed and Agha Zahid — in a clear indication that it is determined to overhaul the National Cricket Academy and related departments.
The PCB has also removed another former Test player, Mudasssar Nazar, as director of academies and chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmed.
The removal of Haroon, who was working as domestic cricket’s director, and chief curator Zahid, was on the cards as chief executive officer Wasim Khan has several times indicated he wanted to bring in younger blood to look after cricket and other technical affairs.
Haroon, who has served as chief selector, manager and head coach of the senior and junior teams, has worked at the NCA in various capacities for many years, while Zahid joined the PCB in 2001. The PCB said it would not be renewing the contracts of Haroon and Zahid.
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