Pakistan News

Pakistani Cricketers went on strike against PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) revoked its conditional No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued to the players for the participation on next month’s T-10 Cricket league in the United Arab Emirates.

PCB’s decision affected at least 14 contracted players who were signed by different teams for the tournament which starts from November 15th.

As many as 16 players were picked by various teams in players’ draft for the tournament. However, being non-contracted at any level, Shahid Afrdi and Imran Nazir are exempted from PCB’s decision.

According to reports the decision to revoke the NOCs came from the board patron and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

On this decision of Pakistan Cricket Board, a group of Pakistan Cricketers went on strike against PCB last week.

Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Amir were among a group of Pakistan’s cricketers on the verge of a strike last week, until a meeting with PCB chief executive Wasim Khan averted the threat – for now, reported ESPNcricinfo.

At the heart of it was the players’ anger at the PCB’s revoking of NOCs for the upcoming T10 league in Abu Dhabi, but the meeting ended up encompassing a number of issues, including the overall NOC policy and communication between players and the board.

The situation in the meeting remains fluid, as PCB insists that it will not change its T10 decision.

It is not confirmed that how many players met Wasim Khan on the day of the National T20 Cup final – anywhere from four to 12, while some players met or communicated with him separately. But a majority of those affected by the T10 decision were present, and Imad is believed to have played a lead role in the discussions.

Imad Wasim is believed to have played a lead role in the discussions with Wasim Khan. Photo: Getty Images

The PCB operates an informal “PSL plus one league” policy on NOCs, in place since Najam Sethi was board head.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the PCB had already informed T10 organisers that Pakistani players would not be released this year because of international and domestic commitments. It was only after the league reached out to players, who in turn approached the board, that conditional NOCs were granted, which now stand revoked altogether.

In all this, the players continue to feel aggrieved. Already they are among the lowest-paid in international cricket – and the central contracts pool has shrunk considerably this year. To add to it, they’ve felt the pinch of a new domestic cricket restructure which has left their pay significantly reduced.

“We are given India’s example and how their board doesn’t give NOCs, but Indian players earn millions in IPL, their domestic salaries alone are good enough, they don’t need to play other leagues,” An unnamed Pakistan player on the current mess.

According to ESPNcricinfo, Several players have expressed their frustration on the condition of anonymity, because they are worried about reprisals from the PCB.

“Pakistan didn’t have a coach or selection panel when players were looking for CPL NOCs,” one said.

“It was a complete mess. Some got NOCs for four games, some didn’t get any, some received for the entire duration. How are we going to cover the financial loss?

“If we play an entire domestic season even then we won’t be making as much as in these leagues. We are given India’s example and how their board doesn’t give NOCs, but Indian players earn millions in IPL, their domestic salaries alone are good enough, they don’t need to play other leagues. We understand the PCB can’t give us that much money but at least make it reasonable, at least give us some clarity.”

Another said: “If they didn’t want us to play T10, then why didn’t they tell us earlier? Why did we even enter the draft? Same with the CPL. Why would franchises sign Pakistan players in the future when they know the PCB can do anything anytime?”

Nine Pakistani players were picked during the CPL draft in May but only three played five or more games. Two had heavily restricted stints and two had to pull out because of a PCB training camp ahead of the Sri Lanka series. Two players lost out entirely because the PCB didn’t issue an NOC in time. Indeed, a breakdown in the relationship between players and the international cricket department, who handle player NOCs, is a key issue.

According to ESPNcricinfo, No further meetings are scheduled as of now between players and the board – the board considers the matter resolved. But the T20s with Australia finish on November 8, and the players could potentially regroup with a week to go before the T10 begins.

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