LAHORE: Pakistan’s cricket board on Thursday awarded women cricketers central contracts for the first time, honouring the team which scooped gold at the Asia Games.
Pakistan crushed Bangladesh by 10 wickets in the final of the first Asian Games women’s cricket tournament, held in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou last month.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it would issue central contracts to women players from January 1, 2011, without specifying how much money they would earn.
Gold-medal winning team captain Sana Mir welcomed the move.
“It’s a positive step from the PCB,” Mir told AFP. “It (central contracts) was something badly missing and now the PCB has acknowledged that we can play the game professionally and this will spur us on for more achievements.”
There are around 600 women players in Pakistan under the age of 19 and around 1,200 seniors, whose earnings are meagre.
The PCB has given central contracts to men since 2007. Top players receive between 100,000 and 250,000 rupees (1,200 to 3,000 dollars) monthly.
The PCB board also decided to increase the stipend for former Pakistan players over the age of 60 who are men.