Pakistan cricket December 19, 2006

Regional associations to get more revenue

Regional cricket associations in Pakistan will finally be given the financial empowerment they have demanded for so long, as the new PCB administration slowly begins to unveil its vision for domestic cricket.

Nasim Ashraf, chairman PCB, announced at a press conference in Karachi that gate money from international matches would go to the relevant association, marking a distinct shift in policy from his predecessors. "From now, including the last ODI between Pakistan and the West Indies at Karachi, all revenue gate money will go to the region," revealed Ashraf.

The revenue will be divided between the city hosting the match and the rest of the province. "For example, for the last Karachi ODI, 50% of the revenue will go to the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) immediately and the rest will go back to the province of Sindh and other districts like Larkhana and Hyderabad. Overall, 100% will go back to the region to develop the game further," said Ashraf.

Under the regime of Shaharyar Khan, regional associations had become increasingly marginalized. Revenues from international matches were distributed only through the board, the organization of international matches was left solely in the hands of the PCB with no involvement from the associations. Even in the selection of regional teams, for domestic tournaments, one PCB-appointed selector was always involved. It had been argued, with some justification, by the board, that regional associations were so torn by internal politics and even corruption that they were unable to function properly.

But not all policies of the previous administration have been set aside. Ashraf also announced that welfare and pension funds for ex-cricketers, an idea first mooted earlier this year, has now been put into place. "The fund will help out hardship cases and medical emergencies in particular. All Test cricketers who retired before the Kerry Packer era in 1978 and are now sixty-plus years old, will be receiving a monthly pension," said Ashraf.

Under the plan, Test cricketers with over 20 appearances for their country will receive Rs 25,000 a month. Those who represented their country over ten times will receive Rs 20,000 a month while players with fewer than ten appearances will receive Rs 15,000 a month. The same amounts will be available to the families of cricketers who have passed away. The board is also considering setting up a pension scheme for current Test cricketers.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo