In a significant turn of events, reports have emerged regarding Pakistan’s cricketing stars considering a boycott of World Cup promotions due to ongoing disputes surrounding their contracts. According to these reports, several cricketers are contemplating refusing to endorse sponsor logos and fulfill various promotional obligations, citing concerns related to their central contracts.
The crux of the issue revolves around the monthly retainer fees offered to top players like Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, and Mohammad Rizwan, which were reportedly set at PKR 4.5 million each (approximately INR 13.22 lakh). However, despite these proposed terms, the contracts have yet to be formally signed, leading to potential actions by the players.
One anonymous Pakistan player conveyed their perspective, stating, “We are willing to represent Pakistan for free, but our question is why we should promote sponsors’ logos that are affiliated with the board. Similarly, we may decline to participate in promotional activities and other events. During the World Cup, we won’t engage in ICC’s commercial promotions and activities either.”
Adding to the complexity of the situation, the players have not received their payments that have been due for the past four months. Furthermore, they have expressed a desire to share in the revenues that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to receive from the International Cricket Council (ICC) in terms of sponsorship.
Turning attention to Pakistan’s upcoming cricketing commitments, the team is preparing for the ODI World Cup 2023, scheduled to commence on October 5. Remarkably, India will be hosting the entire tournament. To prepare for this prestigious event, the Babar Azam-led side will participate in two warm-up matches against New Zealand and Australia on September 29 and October 3, respectively.
Their World Cup journey will begin with a match against the Netherlands on Friday, October 6. Following a disappointing performance in the Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan is hoping for a more robust showing in this high-profile tournament.
The uncertainty surrounding the contracts and payment issues has put Pakistan’s participation in World Cup promotions in jeopardy. As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the commencement of the ODI World Cup 2023, the resolution of these disputes will be critical for the team’s focus and performance on the field.