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PCB reaches verbal agreement with players over contracts

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reached a verbal agreement with the national cricket team players, who are currently touring New Zealand, that they do not need to sign the three-month central contract.

"Instead of a three-month central contract, the board has verbally assured the players that when they return home, they will be issued a fresh 12-month contracts backdated from January 1, 2015," a source said.

The source also said that since PCB had to ensure that the players in New Zealand and Australia were contracted to them to cover issues of payments, discipline and other commercial stakes, it would probably issue special tour contracts now.

"These tour contracts will ensure the board has legal documents binding the players to certain clauses and vice versa," the source added.

The 15-member World Cup squad and even those 18 who are not selected for the event, had refused to sign the three-month central contracts offered by the board when the team left for New Zealand.

The players led by seniors had expressed concerns over certain clauses and loss of payments in the three-month contracts.

Despite manager Naved Akram Cheema asking them to sign the short contracts, the players stuck to their stance with senior player Saeed Ajmal meeting with board officials in Lahore on behalf of the others to sort out the issue.

"The players contention is simple that when the board gave them 12-month contracts last year after a few months delay and in backdate they can do the same thing this year and there was no need for the three-month contracts," he said.

Another source said the Board's decision to issue the short-term contracts stemmed from the fact they wanted to issue fresh long-term contracts after the World Cup, after it was clear which players were required for which format and in which category.

Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi have announced that they will retire from ODIs after the mega event, while it is also unlikely that Younis Khan will play in the format in the post World Cup scenario. And all three were given category A contracts last year.

"The board decided to end this deadlock over signing of the contracts as it was clearly distracting the players' preparations for the World Cup, so now the matter is sorted out after the verbal agreement between the two parties," the source said.

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