Pakistan's top cricketers received a 25 percent pay rise and the promise of performance bonuses for their next three series and the 2007 World Cup, officials said Wednesday.
"We have given central contracts to 20 cricketers with a rise of 25 percent, both in the central contracts and match fees," Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan told reporters.
Led by captain Inzamam-ul Haq, Pakistan's players last month demanded a pay rise and performance-related bonuses for next year's World Cup.
The players in A, B and C categories were previously getting monthly salaries of 3,750 dollars, 2,500 dollars and 1,250 dollars respectively under the central contracts announced last year.
There was growing speculation that fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar might not get a contract as he missed Pakistan's tours of India and the West Indies last year and against Sri Lanka this year through injury.
But Akhtar was among the top six players whose 'A' contracts were renewed.
Captain Inzamam, vice captain Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi are also in the top category, while Mohammad Sami, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneria are placed in the 'B' category.
Opener Yasir Hameed, off-spinner Arshad Khan and paceman Shabbir Ahmed missed out on the contracts introduced last year.
However, the board chairman said Ahmed would be given a special package as he was banned from all international cricket over his illegal bowling action last year.
The board also decided to give cash incentives to players for winning Test matches, one-day internationals and major international tournaments.
Pakistan are currently training for their tour of England where they are scheduled to play four Tests and five one-day internationals. The first Test starts at Lord's on July 13.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)
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