Pakistani players are reluctant to sign long-term central contracts with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) following differences over the sale of licensed digital rights of players between the two sides.

Though the last set of central contracts of the players expired on June 30, the PCB is yet to convince them to sign new contracts.

The Pakistan team has already reached Sri Lanka for the ODI series against Afghanistan and the Asia Cup that follows.

A reliable source close to the players said the dispute centered around the players’ demand for a bigger stake and the sale of their digital rights controlled by the board.

The players’ point of view is that other cricket boards are either not involved in the sale of digital rights/NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) of players or do not have a proper agreement with them on revenue sharing from this avenue, the source said.

He said that while companies like Rario or Dream Sports, headed by two Singapore-based Indians, are paying good money for the sale of sports NFTs of players including images, clips and sound bytes, the players wanted the board to give them a free hand to negotiate. Or a greater share of earnings.

The PCB apparently receives revenue from the ICC and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) for granting digital/online rights to images, clips and sound bytes of players for events organized under the aegis of these bodies.

The PCB is also said to be earning from the sale of digital rights of Pakistan Super League (PSL) players.

The source said, the PCB gives the players a share from the sale of their digital rights but the players feel it is not enough.

The sale of sports NFTs has become a major source of earnings in the cryptocurrency market, with Rario recently investing around $120 million.

NFTs are known as digital collectibles and the global base of 250 crore cricket fans who wish to own digital artefacts, souvenirs of their favorite players has become a huge market to earn revenue.

The sale of NFTs is authenticated through blockchain technology.

The source said that the PCB had proposed a three-year central contract for the players who were reluctant to accept the term.

While the board has almost doubled the monthly central contract retainers and hiked match fees, the players want a bigger share from the sale of their digital rights and even from what the board earns from selling broadcast rights. also want an increased share, he said.

Currently, a senior PCB official is in Sri Lanka and is holding talks with the senior players and trying to convince them to sign their contract which has been designed by the board.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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