ISLAMABAD: The core cricketers will be honoured with cash incentives and recognition for a year of splendid performance that won the hearts of millions of cricket fans around the world.
At a reception scheduled for today (Friday) evening, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja is expected to present a cash incentive of Rs1.5 million to each of the top 15 players who remained an integral part of the unit in all the three formats of the game throughout the year.
Two Test specialists Abid Ali and Sajjid Khan have also been invited apart from 18 players (three reserves) for their exceptional show in the longer version of the game.
“The reception to honour the top cricketers is meant to recognise the services of all those cricketers who have helped the team stand tall in almost all the formats of the game. Barring some brief hiccups, the team members have given exceptional performance throughout the year. Be it T20 World Cup performance, Test matches performance at home and abroad, the team has shown exceptional courage in all the departments of the game. Beating South Africa at their own soil and later sweeping through Bangladesh in their own backyard were exceptional achievements that needed to be recognised,” a PCB official said.
Pakistan won 20 of 29 T20Is during the year which also saw them putting up some resolute show in the T20 World Cup. The team that looked unbeaten finally lost to Australia in the semi-finals but not before winning many hearts for the competitive element that was on display. Beating pre-tournament favourites India by ten wickets also stunned many.
Two of the core cricketers Harris Rauf and Fakhar Zaman will not be in a position to attend the reception due to their commitments in the Australian Big Bash League while Shadab Khan is expected to reach in time on Friday.
The reception that will only be attended by the PCB high-ups is meant to boost morale of the team members ahead of the hectic season that also includes some important series and T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in October/November.
Pakistan will also host leading international outfits including Australia, England, New Zealand, and West Indies during the coming season.