Pakistan Cricket Board's outgoing Chairman Ijaz Butt got players to sign their central contracts and also approved the release of pending payments to them during his final days in office.
PCB sources confirmed that the players who had been offered central contracts till the end of the year had signed them before leaving for the United Arab Emirates [ Images ] for the series against Sri Lanka [ Images ].
The PCB had offered contracts in three categories to 19 players for the second half of the year and all of them featured in the Pakistan squad currently playing the first Test against Sri Lanka.
"Although the contracts were offered in August the players only signed them before leaving for the UAE earlier this month as some players had few reservations over a few clauses in the contracts," a source said.
He said Butt also approved release of payments for the West Indies [ Images ] tour that had been held up for the last four months.
"Yes, the outstanding dues of the players for the West Indies and Ireland tours that ended in May have been released," the source said.
He said contrary to the impression given by the Board, that the payments were delayed due to taxation issues, the fact was that Butt himself had delayed giving approval for the payments.
"Given the fluid financial position of the board, Butt had directed the finance department to make payments of match fees and bonuses to the players in instalments as he didn't want to burden the board exchequer with big payments in one go that is why the West Indies tour payments were held up," the source said.
He said for a normal tour of three Tests, three or five One-day Internationals and one or two Twenty20 [ Images ] matches plus bonus payments, the board incurred a cost of around Rs 35 to 40 million in clearing dues of the players.
"For example a senior player like Younis Khan [ Images ] comfortably earns around Rs three million for a series of three Tests, five ODIs and two T20 matches as match fees under the current slab system of the players who are divided into three categories."
The A category of the slab system has Rs 350,000 fees for a Test, Rs 300,000 for a ODI and Rs 250,000 for a Twenty20 match.
The source said besides the match fees, the players also got bonus payments for wins and graded individual performances and this puts a burden on the PCB exchequer as the Board has not been able to hold any international series at home since 2009 due to security issues.
"For example if Pakistan beats Sri Lanka in a Test the players will get around 100 percent extra of their match fees and they are different bonus amounts for individual performances," the source said.