The Pakistan Cricket Board has always been one to think of women’s cricket as an afterthought, despite their performance being on par with that of the male crickets. The neglect had been gaining momentum for quite a while now, with men being provided with better opportunities and appealing contracts.
However, today the PCB announced more attractive and incentive-based 12-month central contracts to its 10 elite women cricketers. The change would have been phenomenal, had it not been for just 10 players. The contracts will commence from 1 July. Previously, six-month contracts were signed with the players.
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 allowance 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.
The Pakistan women’s team is presently occupying fifth position on the ICC Women’s Championship with two rounds against India and England remaining. If they finish in the top four, they will qualify directly for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 to be held in New Zealand from 30 January to 20 February.
Next year, the Pakistan women’s team will participate in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Australia 2020 from 21 February to 8 March.
PCB Managing Director, Wasim Khan, said: “The PCB is pleased to announce the upgraded and enhanced central contracts to our women cricketers for the next 12 months, which reflect the value, respect and importance we place in our women international cricketers.
“The enhanced new central contracts form a key part of the vision to enhance the profile of women’s cricket and our aim to strive towards a fairer system. As a responsible and professional organisation, we remain committed to investing in the growth and development of women’s cricket. We want to strengthen the women’s and girls’ game at all levels so that our national team can continue to go from strength to strength”.
Chair of Pakistan women’s selection panel, Urooj Mumtaz, said: “The announcement of the new central contracts is a great story for the women’s game in Pakistan and indicates the exciting times that lies ahead for cricketers in the country.
“The women cricketers have shown tremendous improvement recently and this is reflected in the central contracts being offered to them, which are reward and incentive-based. With more international cricket scheduled over the coming months, this will motivate the girls to continue to perform strongly.
“Apart from the enhanced central contracts, we have also introduced incentives for the players in domestic cricket, who will now earn PKR10,000 per match. This is a small step in making women’s cricket more professional and inspiring young women cricketers to take up the sport with a realistic opportunity to represent the country.”
List of centrally contracted players:
Category A – Nida Dar and Sana Mir
Category B – Aliya Riaz, Bismah Maroof, Javeria Wadood, Nashra Sandhu, Sidra Ameen and Sidra Nawaz
Category C – Diana Baig and Nahida Khan