No dispute with players on pay hike, says PCB

Published: Sunday, May 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has rubbished media reports that it was heading for a dispute with the players on the issue of pay raise, saying that the suggestions were nothing but a ''figment of some people's imagination.'' ''This is not an issue at all,'' PCB's Director of Board Operations Abbas Zaidi told The News.

''There is no truth in any of the reports because the Board has not received any demands from the players for a pay raise,'' he added.

Mr Zaidi refuted the claims made in some media reports that the Pakistani players were demanding a 100 per cent pay hike before the tour of England.

''The funniest part in these reports is the bit that says the players want a pay raise before they go to England,'' he said adding, ''It seems as if they are underpaid and are unable to manage without an increment before they go to England. It is really absurd.'' However, the PCB spokesman said the pay raise would be considered when the player contracts come up for review next month.

''Everybody expects to be rewarded at the end of the year. But to say that the players and the Board are heading for a tussle over money matters is totally wrong,'' Mr Zaidi said.

Mr Zaidi also revealed that young pacer Mohammad Asif and batsman Faisal Iqbal would be rewarded for their good show with a Central Contract and the PCB will also retain banned pacer Shabbir Ahmed.

''We don't abandon players,'' he said.

''We are trying to assist Shabbir in his efforts to make a return as soon as possible but even if he can't, the player would be kept on contract and would be paid like all his colleagues,'' he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Zaidi said the board is also planning to hold regular fielding camps under newly appointed fielding consultant Jonty Rhodes if the initial 14-day stint proves beneficial.

''We would love to have Rhodes coming to Pakistan at regular intervals to help us out in the fielding department,'' he said adding, ''But that would depend largely on Rhodes's availability.'' But the official was cautiously optimistic about the results and said it would not be fair to expect miracles.

''We believe Rhodes would be an inspiration for the younger generation of our cricketers but we are not expecting him to do wonders with the senior team players,'' he admitted.

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