Pakistan cricket is in the midst of massive changes following the end of a disappointing World Cup and the shock retirement of Mohammad Amir from Tests at the age of 27. On the directives of former Pakistan skipper and current Prime Minister Imran Khan, the PCB has decided to revamp its domestic structure with first-class competition now being limited to just six provincial teams while 16 regional teams will compete in division two (three-day) tournament besides the national one-day cup and T20 competitions. It has also made it mandatory for players to appear in domestic matches to qualify for the Pakistan team.
Amir retired from Test cricket at the age of 27 and will focus only on ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals and is apparently planning to settle down in the UK on a spouse visa. This move has prompted the PCB to usher in these changes. "Amir, who has now retired from Test cricket, has to play in the domestic One-Day Cup and National T20 competitions to be considered for national selection (under new changes)."
The move to limit the number of teams in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, considered to be the oldest tournament in Pakistan could have far-reaching consequences. The PCB will initially offer domestic contracts to 34 players selected for a provincial side as they have decided to end the participation of institutional sides in the first-class competition.
Departments and banks have been part of Pakistan's premier domestic tournament (Quaid-e-Azam Trophy) since the 70s and there is a fear that once their teams are not allowed to play in domestic matches their employed players will be rendered jobless. The PCB official said that the revised domestic structure was still being finalized as to implement it the board had to first make amendments in its constitution. But he said the condition for players to play in domestic cricket was mandatory and wouldn't be changed.
The PCB is still sticking to its policy of allowing its centrally contracted players to appear in only two T20 foreign leagues but they are also giving permission on a case to case basis.