According to details provided by the board sources, Younis and Afridi have been promoted to the top grade while Kaneria and Akmal had been moved from the third into the second bracket.
However, the board has not made any increase in the monthly retainers of the new contracts, which remain the same as were given in the contracts from November, 2004 to May, 2005.
The central contracts in Pakistan cricket are divided into three pay categories. The grade one players get a monthly retainer of Rs 200,000, the grade two players Rs 125,000 and those in grade three Rs 75,000. The monthly retainers are beside the match and tour fees paid to the players.
A board official said that although the contracts had been prepared two months back, the process of handing it over to the players only started this week.
"With the home series against England round the corner and all the contracted 20 players available in the country it was thought this was the best time to start getting their signatures on it," he said.
Surprisingly, the board has violated its own performance criteria laid down in the contracts system when it promoted Akmal to grade two although he has still not accumulated the necessary 150 points required to be in the grade. Akmal, sources say, at present has 104 points to his credit.
The official said that the reserve or bench players, about a dozen of them including Pakistan A captain Hasan Raza, had also been given contracts for six months with monthly retainers of Rs 30,000 each.
The official said captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq and Afridi were the highest paid players and placed in grade one.
"Danish Kaneria and Kamran Akmal have been promoted to grade two category because of their performances in recent months," he said.