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December 29, 2008
The Pakistan board is likely to replace the central contracts retainer structure for domestic regional teams as it looks to adjust to the financial impact of a year without any major cricket.
Regional teams such as Karachi and Lahore had a central contracts system in place during the recent seasons, though the monthly fees were paid by the PCB and not the regional associations. But at a recent meeting of the governing board, a proposal was put forward to scrap this system and instead increase the players' match fees.
"Nothing has been finalised yet," Javed Miandad, director general PCB, told Cricinfo. "Proposals were put forward at the governing board meeting before I joined, but they require approval. There is no doubt there is a need to cut our costs to make up for the year we have had."
The move to have retainers for regional players not employed by departments was widely lauded when it was introduced during the end of Shahryar Khan's tenure, but it has proved to be a heavy burden on a board desperately short of finances. The PCB paid for travel, accommodation, expenses and the salaries for up to 25 players in every region, in addition to the annual grants for regional and district associations.
It is believed that match fees will be doubled, to Rs 20,000 per match, while other daily allowances and expenses on travel and food will be pruned as part of the proposals.
Though the suggestions are a pragmatic result of the board's financial crunch, they mark another step in shifting the emphasis away from regional cricket to departmental cricket, something Miandad is keen to do.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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