After due consultations with selectors, the national coach and players, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a fifty per cent rise in basic salary for its centrally-contracted cricketers. 'Perform and earn more' will be the basis of the new pay structure that will replace the previous contract which expired in September.

Eighteen players in four different categories have been included in this contract as opposed to the last contract, which had 16 players in three categories. The board has included more new players in this contract but omitted the bonus points system and replaced it with what Mahabubul Anam, the BCB general secretary, termed as 'process-oriented bonus'.

The Dhaka-based The Daily Star reported that Anam is confident the package would act as a catalyst to usher in professionalism among the players. "We have introduced a process-oriented bonus. There will be no result-oriented bonus. Rather we will give handsome incentives for on-the-field performances like partnership, fielding and catching. There is little chance to see a rise in the average salary package. But under the new pay structure a national cricketer can earn ten times more depending on how he performs on the field."

Another Dhaka daily, New Age, quoted Anam as saying that the players will get a bonus for building a partnership (in a Test not less than 75 runs, and in a one-dayer not less than 50), for bowling a good line and length and for good fielding.

"We have already developed a software which will help us determine how a player contributed to the team with batting, bowling and fielding. And they will get the bonus accordingly."

The actual match fee of the players has been increased by 20 per cent. A player will now get about 500 dollars for a one-day international appearance while it will be 1,000 dollars for a Test match.

Habibul Bashar, the captain, Khaled Mashud, the vice-captain, Javed Omar, Mohammad Rafique, Mohammad Ashraful, Rajin Saleh, Tapash Baisya, Manzarul Islam and Mashrafee Bin Mortuza have been offered a one-year contract.

Khaled Mahmud, the former national captain, who is likely to quit international cricket after the next home match, has been awarded a six-month contract along with Nafees Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Enamul Haque, Nazmul Hossain and Tushar Imran, the new addition to the elite list. Shahadat Hossain and Syed Rasel, the two new fast bowlers, have been included in the rookie category along with left-handed opener Shahriar Nafees Ahmed.