Pak cricketers lack grooming, hence missing out on game’s richesSeptember 8th, 2010 - 5:26 pm ICT by ANI
Karachi, Sept.8 (ANI): A professional cricket career is seen in Pakistan as an escape route into a world of glamour, celebrity and untold riches, but the recent revelations of match fixing and spot fixing by Pakistani cricketers, is likely to have an adverse impact, feel experts and agents.
Many of the country’s best players - like Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer - hail from small villages, from poor and uneducated backgrounds.
Pakistan players’ agent Salman Ahmed says the lack of grooming and guidance leaves players stumped by excessive money, and therefore, they are open to manipulation.
“An 18-year-old who bursts into the limelight and the glamour world needs special grooming. Not only in terms of cricket, but manners and awareness of good and bad,” the Daily Times quoted Ahmed, as saying.
Ahmed’s Portfolio World has had a contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) since January 2009.
He adds: “Most importantly, wealth managers should be introduced to them, to these boys, who at one time could not buy a Pepsi and today are brand ambassadors for it.”
He was making a reference to Aamer.
Former PCB chairman Tauqir Zia managed to establish the National Cricket Academy in Lahore seven years ago, where courses to educate the players were finally introduced.
But many commentators believe that players’ focus on the remuneration details in a contract and ignore the code of conduct.
Big money came to Pakistan cricket only after Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer hired a dozen of them for his World Series of Cricket in 1978.
Before the Packer circus, the only money-earning avenues for Pakistani players were stints in county cricket in England.
Currently, Pakistan players can earn money through central contracts, soft drink and mobile phone sponsorship and endorsements.
Players in the A category of central contracts get Rs.250, 000 a month; B category players get Rs.175, 000 and C category players get Rs.100, 000. In addition, a top category player gets Rs.350, 000 for playing a Test match and Rs.300, 000 for playing an ODI and Rs.250, 000 for playing a Twenty20 match.
Players in the corresponding categories get Rs.50, 000 less in each form of the game.
There are special win bonuses and cash awards on performances, opening up riches largely unseen in a country where 74 percent of the population survive on less than two dollars a day, according to the World Bank.
Endorsements for bats can range from 30,000 to 100,000 dollars per annum, while top players like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar can easily make 25,000 to 150,000 dollars a year through commercials. (ANI)
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