PCB revises domestic player contracts; cuts budget by 10pc
The Board of Governors of the Pakistan Cricket Board Friday approved a Rs7.76billion operating expenditure budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which is a 10 per cent reduction from the 2019-20 budget as part of the PCB’s austerity, robust financial management and belt-tightening exercise.
The Board of Governors of the Pakistan Cricket Board met Friday morning via a videoconference under the chairmanship of Ehsan Mani. Without compromising and reducing any activities from the 2019-20 activities, the PCB has allocated 71.2 per cent of the overall budget for cricket-related activities. This is to ensure that despite tough financial situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cricket remains unaffected and the PCB continues to invest in the future.
The allocated 71.2 per cent cricket budget includes 25.2 per cent for domestic cricket (events and players/match officials/player support personnel contracts and High Performance Centre costs), 19.3 per cent for international cricket (home/away series and player contracts), 5.5 per cent for women’s cricket (home/away cricket and player contracts), 19.7 per cent for HBL PSL 2021 and 1.5 per cent for Medical and Sport Sciences.
While forecasting shortfall in revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left the fate of revenues from international events hanging in balance and may also affect PCB’s commercial programme, the BoG has agreed to continue investment on infrastructure development by approving a Rs1.22billion budget for capital expenditure, a reduction of approximately Rs800million from 2019-20.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said: “We have followed a strict cost-benefit and value for money policy while preparing this budget taking into consideration the economic situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The budget caters for all critical business of cricket activities, while the nice-to-have activities have been set aside as part of our cost-cutting measures and to protect our reserves for the future. I am also grateful to the BoG for approving the capital expenditure budget, which is aimed at enhancing and improving our infrastructure so that we can provide better experience and facilities to our fans and cricketers, and also develop and upgrade our high performance centres across the country. This will be an important investment as we have submitted an expression of interest for some ICC Events in the 2023-31 cycle and quality cricket infrastructure will be one of the key factors that will determine if we are successful in earning hosting rights of any of the events. Over the next 12 months, we will continue to ensure strict financial management and controls, and I remain confident that we will deliver all our objectives as per our five-year strategy and within budget.”
Domestic player contracts for 2020-21
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan briefed the BoG on the new 12-month merit-based domestic player contracts for the 2020-21 season. The new contracts will come into effect from 1 August 2020.
According to the new monthly retainer structure, the PCB will again offer 192 leading domestic players (32 from each of the six Cricket Associations) performance-based contracts, but instead of paying a flat monthly retainer of Rs50,000 to all players, this season slab-wise payments will be made.
The new monthly retainer structure is:
Category A+ = 10 players, Rs150,000 per month
Category A = 38 players, Rs85,000 per month
Category B = 48 players, Rs75,000 per month
Category C = 72 players, Rs65,000 per month
Category D = 24 players, Rs40,000 per month
Wasim Khan added: “The PCB had repeatedly spoken about improving domestic retainers year-on-year which we are committed to doing and have backed up this year. We very much see this as the start. Overall, we have increased our investment by 46 per cent in our domestic contract retainers, as compared to last year. We have also created a category based retainer system that will better reward and incentivise the high-performing cricketers.
“The PCB is optimistic this model will further enhance competitiveness amongst the players, which, in turn, will contribute in the overall uplifting of our domestic cricket. We are likely to have all the six Cricket Association sides in place by mid-August but will continue to keep an eye on the Covid-19 situation. We will only start our 2020-21 season when the Covid-19 curve of cases starts going in the downward direction and we have the necessary permissions and SOPs in place to ensure health and safety of all concerned.”
PCB Code of Ethics
In line with Article 44(d) of the PCB Constitution 2019 and with an aim to safeguard the integrity and the reputation of the PCB as the custodian of the game in Pakistan, the BoG approved the PCB Code of Ethics, which deals with matters such as conflict of interest, declaration of interests and confidentiality.
All BoG Members, Committee Members and PCB Staff Members will now be bound and required to comply by the Code, which will also be enforced at the Cricket Association level.
PCB Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer said: “The main objective of the PCB Code of Ethics is to establish highest ethical standards to govern the activities and regulate the conduct of key stakeholders in Pakistan cricket, strengthen PCB’s authority to deal with corruption and unethical behaviour and foster confidence in the PCB in line with its Strategic Plan.”
Pakistan Super League 2020
The BoG congratulated the PCB management for the successful staging of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 until it was postponed on 17 March due to Covid-19 pandemic. The 30 completed matches were played over four venues with more than 500,000 spectators crossing turnstiles to watch live action.
The BoG was informed that the PCB was planning to stage the remaining four matches later in the year, while it plans to add a fifth venue in Peshawar for the 2021 edition, which is scheduled to be held in February and March 2021.
The BoG approved to set-up a dedicated HBL PSL Department by separating it from the PCB’s Commercial Department. PSL Project Executive Shoaib Naveed will head the department as part of the PCB’s drive to improve stakeholder relationship and deliver top-quality event. There will also be an oversight group, which will comprise the Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Director Commercial.
The PSL General Council meeting is scheduled in the first week of July with more details to follow in due course.
Asia Cup swap with Sri Lanka
The BoG approved the model constitution for Cricket Clubs, which is in line with the PCB Constitution 2019 and Model Constitutions for Cricket and City Cricket Associations, as well as the Club affiliation and operation rules, details of which will be released on Sunday morning.
PCB Chairman Mani briefed the BoG on matters relating to the ICC and the ACC. Mani confirmed that he had been approached by some ICC Directors for the ICC Chairman’s role, but reiterated his commitment to Pakistan cricket.
Mani also said he has raised the visa issues for Pakistan cricket teams for the upcoming ICC Events in India. On the ACC, Mani confirmed the PCB has offered Sri Lanka Cricket to swap the ACC T20 Cup, with the ACC Board expected to make the decision in due course.
The PCB Chairman updated the BoG on his meeting with the PCB Patron, including discussions around legislation on criminalising corruption in sports. In this relation, Mani submitted to the Patron a draft proposal, which provides a short background on the menace of corruption and its impact on the integrity of sports; reviews the existing legislation enacted within Pakistan whilst noting that the same fail to adequately target and address corruption/illegal manipulation in sports; recommends the inclusion of certain provisions which, specifically target criminalisation of corruption in sports pertaining to corruption, illegal manipulation, betting, match and spot-fixing as well as aiding and abetting such conduct; and proposes the penalties to be imposed on individuals found guilty of engaging in such offences.
The BoG expressed satisfaction on the steps taken and processes followed prior to sending the Pakistan men’s national cricket team to England, but expressed concerns on the number of positive tests. On the basis the Covid-19 and cricket is likely to co-exist in the foreseeable future, the BoG advised the PCB to put in place stricter measures to ensure health and safety of all its elite cricketers.