Central contracts in cricket

In today’s topic, I’ll make sure you guys will understand the importance of central contracts in cricket. Before moving to the topic, What is even meant by the term central contract? and how it can play an important role in team stability? Before going further, let’s take a brief look at the history of cricket. It will surely provide the answers.


cricket is a game of bat and ball. Play between two teams, consisting of 11 players on each side, inside the ground. The team that bats first set the target in the limited-overs and the opposition team has to chase the target inside the overs to win the match.

Cricket is one of the oldest games, started in the 16th century. The first official game was played in 1676 between England and Africa. England introduced cricket as a sport to the world. Cricket peaked in the 20th century when more nations started to play.

Due to the increase in the number of teams, the International Cricket Council was made. Initially, it was just a 5 days test format game. As the pace of the game increased, ICC introduced a limited-overs format.

Everything was going smoothly but the stability of the team and Fixing cases were not in control. As only those players get the salary which is part of the playing 11.

The rest of the team doesn’t get much. So, to control these problems, ICC introduced central contracts in cricket. The first nation to obey this rule was England in 2000. Later all test-playing nations adopt the central contract format.

What do you mean by Central contracts in Cricket?

A central contract is the amount of fee which national team players will get to represent their country. The central contract is handed to players who are regularly representing their country in a Test and limited-overs cricket.

England awarded the first central contract to its national team players in the year 2000.


Before the concept of central contracts, stability between teams of national and domestic level always raise issues over money.

All the board money was mostly taken by the national team players and domestic teams and their players will get a very less amount fee.

Moreover, young players who score big hundreds, take wickets, won matches single handily for their teams will not get enough pay due to the seniority base quota.

If these players demand higher wages, they will get dropped. So, to avoid this situation and to improve the domestic cricket structure, ICC introduced a central contract system.

Criteria of giving Central contracts in Cricket

Players who will represent their national teams in ICC formats will be awarded central contracts. Every cricket board under ICC has a different format to hand central contracts to players.

The majority of cricket boards made different categories to award central contracts to players. Players who perform very well in the formats will be awarded A+ contracts.

Till now, there are 4 to 5 categories of central contracts based on their performances and experience. The highest category is A+ and the lowest is C. So, the Contract’s value money depends on the category.

Centrals contracts of Different Cricket boards (duration)

Every cricket board under ICC hands 1-year central contracts to its key players for the upcoming year. This is a base salary. So, the match fee and additional bonus will be awarded to those who will play on match day.

Players under central contracts will get paid the contract amount even if they play or not.

IndiaAwarded central contracts to 28 players from Oct 2021- Sep 2022
EnglandAwarded central contracts to 20 players from Oct 2021- Sep 2022
AustraliaAwarded central contracts to 17 players from Oct 2021- Sep 2022
PakistanAwarded central contracts to 25 players from June 2021- July 2022
South AfricaAwarded central contracts to 16 players from Oct 2021- Sep 2022
New ZealandAwarded central contracts to 29 players from Oct 2021- Sep 2022
West IndiesAwarded central contracts to 18 players from June 2021- July 2022
Sri LankaAwarded central contracts to 17 players from June 2021- July 2022
BangladeshAwarded central contracts to 17 players from June 2021- July 2022

FAQs Regarding Central Contracts

Q. Richest cricket board?


Q. Which cricket board pays the highest salary?


Q. How many countries are playing test cricket?

A. There are 9 test-playing nations under ICC.

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