LAHORE: Setting a new example, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has put national women’s team captain Bismah Maroof in ‘B’ category while announcing central contracts for only 10 cricketers for next one-year period starting from July 1.
A PCB spokesman said that the contracts were offered purely on basis of performances and Bismah’s performance wasn’t up to par. “Since our women cricket structure sees captains not appointed for a long period and the captaincy changes series to series, every player has to perform to get a higher category contract,” said the spokesman.
Asked if this step was an indirect message to Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed who has struggled to perform lately, the spokesman said; “The message of performing is for everyone as the policy should be for all and everyone has to give extra effort to earn extra.”
The spokesman added that while only a few women cricketers were offered central contracts, it was common practice for all other cricket boards to only give 10 to 12 players central contracts. “The pool of women players is just around 45 and the best have been selected,” he said.
The PCB said in a news release that better contracts with a substantial increase in pay had been offered.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board today announced more attractive and incentive-based 12-month central contracts to its 10 elite women cricketers,” the press release stated. “There has been a 20 per cent increase in the retainer remuneration of Category A, which includes Nida Dar and Sana Mir; 18.5 per cent increase in Category B, which comprises Aliya Riaz, Bismah Maroof, Javeria Wadood, Nashra Sandhu, Sidra Ameen and Sidra Nawaz; and 18 per cent increase in Category C, which contains Diana Baig and Nahida Khan.
“In an effort to further incentivise its cricketers and narrow the gap between men and women cricketers, the PCB has also increased the daily allowances. The revised arrangement sees an increase of 100 per cent in daily allowances payable during camps in Pakistan and 50 per cent rise in daily allowances whilst on foreign tours.
“To bring the Pakistan women’s cricket team at par with other international women sides, the PCB has also confirmed business class travel on all international flights more than five hours.
“Through a new initiative in order to enhance the profile of women’s domestic tournaments, the PCB has also introduced a match fee of PKR10,000 per match for all cricketers. This is expected to prove as a catalyst for the new generation of girls to take up the sport with an added opportunity to represent the country at a global stage.
“These major decisions have been rolled into women’s cricket either for the first time or revised after many years, and are also a recognition and appreciation of their performances this year against the Windies and South Africa.”
Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2019