PCB awards ‘central contracts’ to women cricketers for first time in Pak history

Friday, December 24, 2010

LAHORE - In a first, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the awarding of central contracts to women cricketers, honouring the team that scooped gold at the Asian Games in Guangzhou last month.

The decision was taken at the meeting of the PCB Governing Council at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, with Ijaz Butt in the chair.

A PCB spokesman said that the board would issue 20 one-year central contracts- divided in to four categories- to women players from January 1, 2011, without specifying how much money they would earn.

“We want to encourage our women players for their outstanding performance in the Asian Games and awarding central contracts would definitely help in giving financial stability to players to be more focused on the game,” the spokesman added.

In the conservative Muslim country where women used to be barred from playing in open fields, former president Pervez Musharraf made it possible for them to play on grounds, and the women’s team came under PCB control in 2005.

Presently, there are around 600 women players in Pakistan under the age of 19, and around 1,200 seniors, whose earnings are meagre. The PCB has given central contracts to men since 2007, and top players receive between 100,000 and 250,000 rupees a year.

“It’s a positive step from the PCB… It (central contracts) was something badly missing and now the PCB has acknowledged that we can play the game professionally and this will spur us on for more achievements,” the Daily Times quoted gold-medal winning team captain Sana Mir, as saying.

PCB chairman Butt said that he was extremely grateful to the Governing Council members for approving the measure for the benefit of former Pakistan cricketers.

“Our players are our national assets and this decision by the governing council will send a positive message to all our former players that the PCB values the services that they have given to Pakistan,” said Butt. (ANI)

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