Asif lends support to players~~ pay-hike demand

Published: Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal threw his weight behind the Pakistani players' demand for a pay hike and warned that the issue can snowball into a major crisis if the cricket board fails to address it.

In his coluumn for ''The News'', the former Pakistan and Kent captain said though the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) claimed that there was no dispute with the players on the issue, ''one can sense a subterranean rumble which could well escalate into something much louder if the matter is not addressed with equity and justice.'' He said cricket has become a huge industry and hence the players' salary should be compared with what their predecessors received in the fifties, sixties and seventies.

''With revenues having skyrocketed, there is no reason why earnings of the players should not be expected to keep pace...a player has a limited career and it is but natural for him to seek to make as much as he can while he is there at the top,'' he argued.

Explaining a player's mindset, he said, ''A place at the top is by no means guaranteed and a couple of bad umpiring decisions could mean the end of a career at that level...'' He said demands of a pay hike was fair in light of ambush marketing, where players lose lucrative deals, and the ever increasing income of the cricket board.

Referring to the salary of the support staff, Asif said Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer gets around Rs 800,000 a month, bowling coach Waqar Younis is paid Rs 500,000 per month while the newly appointed Director of the National Cricket Academy, Mudassar Nazar, gets Rs 300,000 per month.

''The argument is not that these people do not deserve such salaries, but that their contribution has to be seen against that of the players,'' he said.

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