Mentally prepared to take pay-cuts, says Azhar Ali
Pakistan’s Test skipper Azhar Ali on Saturday said that the national team’s centrally-contracted players are mentally prepared for pay-cuts if the coronavirus pandemic persisted for a few months.
In an interaction with the media on video, Azhar Ali said he and his colleagues are aware that the situation is not ideal due to the COVID-19, which has halted sporting activities across the globe. "It is not a good situation for any country and we know that if this lockdown situation continued for a few months, the Board (PCB) might ask us to take pay-cuts in the old or new central contacts," Azhar said.
"If such a situation arises that we are asked to take pay-cuts we are mentally prepared for it and we will sit down with the Board and make the best decisions."
Cricket behind closed doors
Azhar Ali said he is in favour of playing cricket behind closed doors whenever it is safe to do so. "If, hopefully in the near future cricket is possible and the health of people is not compromised, I'm sure every cricketer will say we should get cricket back on, even if it is behind closed doors."
"There is no sport on TV right now that people can watch. They will be happy to get sport back on TV. People's health is more important, but if we can get sport going without imperilling that, I'd support it," he added.
Azhar Ali also suggested that ICC should look to extend World Test Championship beyond the scheduled end of 2022 to fit in all the matches. "I'm sure the ICC will look at this. The Test Championship was a long competition anyway, so I don't think it would be a big deal to extend it if the series cannot be held in time; I'd support extending the Test championship," Ali said.