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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 April, 2004, 08:01 GMT 09:01 UK
Contracts plea turned down
Yousuf Youhana
Youhana believes the workload for Pakistan's top players is too heavy
The Pakistan Cricket Board says it cannot afford to introduce a central contracts system despite earning over 11.5m from the series against India.

Vice-captain Yousuf Youhana has called for central contracts as a way of preventing injuries to star players.

But PCB chief executive Rameez Raja said it would mean paying each player around 177,000 per year.

"We're not in a position to do that," said Rameez, a former opening batsman who appeared in 57 Tests from 1984-97.

Pakistan went into the final Test against India in Rawalpindi without Abdul Razzaq, Moin Khan, Umar Gul and Shabbir Ahmed, who are all suffering from injuries.

"We're facing injury problems because we're playing too much cricket," said Youhana.

"Even during the off-season, when players should be resting, they opt to play abroad to earn money."

Follwoing the India series, Shabbir, Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria are all due to spend the summer playing county cricket in England.

Central contracts have been introduced in other countries, like Australia, South Africa and England, although the number of players to benefit varies.

But Rameez said: "We have to spend this money on improving our first-class and junior structure, our academy programmes and on other development projects."

Profits from the India series have doubled the amount previously held in the PCB's reserves.

It has been a timely boost after financial problems resulting from a bomb explosion in Karachi in 2002, which prompted New Zealand to abandon a tour and led to series against Australia and West Indies being played at neutral venues.

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