According to the figures disclosed by the Espncricinfo, Pakistani cricketers are among the worst paid in world cricket.
A player in Pakistan’s top contract bracket will be on an annual retainer ($74,014) that is marginally less than the top contract for an Ireland player ($75,000). Let that sink in (Ireland’s top salary retainer is also higher than those of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe). A player like Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan’s captain, will end up earning more in a year, of course – and he quadruples his base salary in 2017 – because he plays more often and plays across three formats.
To some degree the low retainer is compensated by a more generous match-fee structure that elevates them to a mid-ranking side in terms of pay. But Pakistani players will argue their plight is compounded by a lack of access to the richest domestic league in the sport, or an especially bountiful payout from the PCB’s commercial rights.
The years of exile have played a part no doubt, as has India refusing to play them (that has also significantly reduced the true value of a broadcast deal reportedly worth $150 million over five years). The cost of running an excessively vast domestic calendar is another drain.
The PCB earns revenue comparable to West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, and so the vast differences in retainer amounts between Pakistani players and those representing those three countries stands out: Kane Williamson, Jason Holder and Angelo Mathews all make double, or nearly double, what Sarfraz does on their retainer. Sarfraz makes up for it with his total earnings, but such a system puts intense pressure on the player; an injury in Sarfraz’s case is of far greater harm monetarily than it is for Mathews, Williamson or Holder. Like with India, the case for setting up a Pakistani players’ association has never been stronger.