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    Pak players wait for central contracts

    The PCB has formed a new committee to recommend the pay raise and players who would be included in the list for central contracts.

    Lahore: The announcement of this year's central contracts for Pakistani cricketers has been further delayed after the PCB formed a new committee to recommend the pay raise and players who would be included in the list.

    Sources within the Pakistan Cricket Board told PTI that former chief selector Mohammad Illyas had, after discussing the matter with board officials Intikhab Alam and Zakir Khan, finalised the list of players for the new central contracts and also recommended a pay hike for the players. "But now since Illyas has resigned, the board has now formed a committee headed by Intikhab Alam and including new chief selector Iqbal Qasim and others, to recommend a new list of players," one source said.

    The central contracts of the Pakistan players ended on December 31, 2011 and they are still waiting for the new contracts four months into the new year. "The players obviously are not happy with the situation as they have not received payments from their central contract monthly salaries for the last four-five months and payments from their recent series against Bangladesh, England and the Asia Cup have also been held up," one player said.

    New PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has, in principle, agreed to give a pay raise to the players in their new central contracts but the committee will now decide how much the hike will be. "The players will get all their dues starting from January 1, 2012 no matter when the new central contracts are announced, but they will most likely get them before the team leaves for Sri Lanka on May 27," one board official said.

    Sources say the PCB chairman has advised the committee handling the list of players for the contracts to not just award contracts on the basis of seniority or past performances but also take current form, fitness and commitment into consideration.

    Senior all-rounders Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik are expected to get new central contracts after they lost them last year for different reasons. There is a chance of senior wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal being included, besides some other new players.