Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will introduce penalties and points system for its players who will be given fitness-based central contracts for this year.
Fitness-based contracts would mean that players who have achieved highest level of fitness points will be placed in the highest category while their performances in the last six months would also be taken into consideration.
"Basically instead of seniority now the main emphasis for issuing central contracts is fitness and performance," a PCB official told PTI.
"This is the main reason why the board has delayed naming the 22 players who will be given central contracts for this year. They wanted to wait and see the performance of the players in the summer training camp in Lahore which winds up this week," the official said.
"The camp commandant, Muhammad Akram has already submitted fitness reports off all the players to the national selectors. He has also suggested that while awarding the contracts the players whose fitness level needs improvement should be given time specific tasks."
He explained the move was to set targets for players to achieve certain fitness levels in a fixed time frame.
"Players who doesn't work or improve on their fitness in the targets given to them will have to face deductions in their monthly retainers. For example if a player has secured eight points in the fitness table he will be asked to improve this by two points in next three months. If he doesn't succeed there will be deductions in his monthly retainers."
He said this system was being put into place to encourage players to improve their fitness and performances.
Interestingly the two most fittest players in the summer camp held in scorching weather, have turned out to be the two senior most players - captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who has turned 40, and Younis Khan, who is close to 36 years.
The PCB has already announced pay hikes between 20 to 30 percent in the players' central contracts and match fees but have yet to release names of the players who will be awarded these contracts.
The PCB, through Muhammad Akram, has laid lot of emphasis on fitness in the summer training camp. The national selection committee headed by Moin Khan is due to meet soon to finalise list of 22 players who will be given the contracts.
Most of these players are also expected to be in the squad that will go to Sri Lanka in August.