LAHORE           -    The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said the philosophy of professionalism and its connection with performance, which, in turn, provides big rewards and incentives to the best-performing cricketers, is the essence of the 2020-21 domestic cricket season, which commences from September 30. 

Once lowly paid, the top domestic cricket performers now have the opportunity to earn as high as Rs 3.2 million, which is 83 per cent more than 2019-20, and minimum Rs 1.8 million, still a seven per cent increase from what the players in the highest category received last year, said PCB spokesman here on Tuesday. These player earnings can be calculated following the announcement of the 2020-21 domestic cricket schedule, that provides the best of the best cricketers the opportunity to feature in all 10 National T20 Cup, 10 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and 10 Pakistan Cup matches.

“With each of the 10 A+ category players to receive Rs 150, 000 as monthly retainer for 12 months and a match fee of Rs. 40,000 for National T20 Cup and Pakistan Cup each, and Rs. 60,000 for Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, players maintaining and displaying high levels of professionalism throughout the season will earn Rs. 3.2 million. “And, this doesn’t stop here. Players can increase their earnings if they reach the finals, which will guarantee them additional match fee as well as share in the prize moneys.

“Similarly, monthly retainer of D category domestic players is Rs. 40.000 but they will get the same match fee as the highest category player. This, in turn, means any D category player who features in all the 30 First XI league matches will earn Rs. 1.8 million. These numbers will increase if a player’s side reaches the finals as this will mean more matches and share in prize moneys,” said the spokesman. 

He said this earning is more than seven per cent of what domestic contracted players received in the 2019-20 season. Last year, all the domestic contracted First XI players had received a flat monthly retainer of Rs. 50.000 and match fee of Rs.40.000 for white-ball cricket and Rs. 75,000 for red-ball cricket.

Meanwhile Director – High Performance, Nadeem Khan said: “While finalising the 2020-21 domestic calendar, we not only had an eye on the three global white-ball events, we were also mindful that we had to improve our contracts that must benefit the players financially and encourage them to further raise the levels of their fitness and form so they can also stake claims in the franchise and national sides.

“The PCB is aware that Pakistan cricketers are not the highest-paid in the world, but it is our endeavour to slowly and gradually improve their contracts so that they can get best returns for their talent and also plan their futures. “The board generates its funds and revenues through cricket and it is appropriate that a large chunk of these funds are reinvested into development and cricketers.

“I am confident that domestic cricketers will see these enhancements as a morale and confidence booster, and they will not only aim to perform better than last year but this will introduce an element of competition between these players in pursuit of improved contracts next year,” he added.