LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday refuted a story published in the daily English newspaper The News which had termed the upcoming T-10 league as Indian-owned and dubious. The story also revealed that PCB is risking its players by allowing them to participate in the T-10 league. The league will be played later this month in Sharjah.
The T-10 league, which is the first of its kind, was launched in United Arab Emirates earlier this year. The league will feature both current and former cricketers from across the board. Usman Manzoor’s story titled – PCB allows top Pak cricketers to play in dubious Indian-owned league – was published in The News on Thursday criticizing PCB administration for allowing its players to play a ‘a dubious and Indian-owned league’.
PCB in its response said that it is shocked by the irresponsible and false reporting. “It seems competing media interests are dragging PCB into a nasty situation against national interest,” PCB’s press release read.
The facts are contrary to the news on the T-10 league which is set to take place in Sharjah from December 14 to 19, 2017. “The ICC has not disapproved the league. In fact, it has lent the support of its Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) to it to ensure it is free of such problems, the Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Cricket Boards are fully supporting it with one team each of their players,” the press release read.
The PCB has taken a fee of US $4.00,000/ from the league to allow only ten of its centrally contracted players to participate in it. This money is being spent on game development in the country. 80% of the shares of the company that owns the league are held by Pakistanis, the owners are meanwhile Muslims. The one Indian minority shareholder is also a Muslim.
Furthermore, the PCB Board of Governors have agreed to support the League following a firm request from the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) that is a PCB partner in critical ways by hosting PSL and PCB bilateral cricket series. The apprehensions of two PSL franchises were resolved in a meeting on the subject earlier and there is no conflict of interest or competition between a 10 over league spread over four days only in one venue and PSL spread over 34 matches and six weeks in four venues.
“Players from six top cricketing national Boards like England, West Indies, South Africa, etc have got NOCs to play in this league. These include Eoin Morgan, Shakib ul Hassan, Carlos Brathwaite, Dinesh Chandimal, Darren Sammy, etc. In fact, many current players from across the globe are featuring in the league which shows the PCB has released players in a competitive event,” PCB asserted
One PSL franchise owner has a financial stake in the league and believes that this supplement its bigger interest in the PSL instead of undermining it. It should also be noted that Anti-Corruption Laws of ICC will be applicable. This means there will be an Anti-Corruption Unit set up for the event like in any international event or league to keep an eye on players, and keep the game free of corruption (Two PCB ACU representatives will also monitor the league.)
The PCB has adopted a policy of friendly relations with other cricket Boards, and therefore allows its players to feature in different international leagues as a measure of reciprocity. In this regard, earlier this year, Pakistan players participated in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and currently-list players are featuring in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). The players released for T-Ten league will further strengthen the existing relationship with ECB which has been very supportive of Pakistan cricket for a long time.
It must be noted that with the gradual return of international cricket to Pakistan the ECB has to develop its own events that can sustain its cricketing infrastructure in the UAE and events like T10 that are in no competition with PSL enable the ECB to plan their future once Pakistan cricket fully returns home.
Finally, the PCB condemned all allegations and termed that an attack on the integrity of Pakistan’s cricket that is not in the national interest.