August 19th, 2023

Pakistan players and PCB clash over digital rights sale, contract renewals

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Pakistan players are once again at loggerheads ahead of the Asia Cup and the World Cup. The reason behind the issue is Pakistan players’ reluctance to sign a long-term central contract with the PCB after the parties failed to strike a deal over the sale of licensed digital rights of players.The last set of the central contracts expired on June 30 and the PCB has not been able to renew the contracts of the players. According to recent reports, another reason behind the players’ reluctance was PCB’s tough stance on playing in overseas T20 leagues. The PCB reportedly wanted to restrict the number of franchise competitions a player can participate in per year but the players were not impressed with it. The PCB seemed to have softened their stance on the issue but their stand on the sale of licensed digital rights is another big issue for the players. While the Pakistan team has already reached Sri Lanka for the upcoming ODI series against Afghanistan and the Asia Cup, the PCB has not managed to convince the players to put pen to paper. “ The players’ point of view is that other cricket boards either are not involved in the sale of players digital rights/NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) or have a proper agreement with them on the sharing of revenues from this avenue,” a source told PTI. Pakistan players want more revenue from PCB: The source further revealed that while the PCB does give the players a share from the digital rights sale, the players want more revenue. The Pakistan players believe that the amount they receive from the PCB is not enough. The PCB gets revenues from the ICC and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) for giving the digital/online rights of players’ images, clips, and sound bites for the events held under the aegis of these bodies. “The PCB does give the players a share from their digital rights sales but the players feel it is not enough,” the source said. The PCB has even almost doubled the retainer fees of the players in addition to increasing the match fees in the new contracts, but the players are not willing to sign the three-year contract because of the issue over the digital rights sale. “Though the board had nearly doubled the monthly central contract retainers and increased the match fees, the players want a bigger share from the sale of their digital rights and even increased share from what the board earns from selling broadcasting rights,” the source said The report further stated that a senior PCB official is in Sri Lanka holding negotiations with senior players and is trying to convince the players to accept the central contract. PCB would be hoping that the issue is sorted out at the earliest so that it does not affect the players during this year’s World Cup which is less than two months away.