The reputation of the Pakistan Super League T20 being a financially stable event is under a cloud after the six participating franchises refused to submit bank guarantees for the tournament’s fifth edition.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made it a rule for the participating franchises to submit bank guarantees for the next edition six months before the start of the tournament.
But the franchise owners, after a recent meeting with PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and officials have declared a war and made it clear that they will not be submitting bank guarantees until the board first sends them complete audited accounts of the fourth PSL edition.
According to details, the franchise owners have reservations on several issues but one of the major areas of concern is regarding the financial accounts of previous edition. Nearly six months have passed but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is yet to finalise the HBL PSL financial statements, which is why the franchises have decided against depositing bank guarantee.
Though the final of the fourth edition was held on March 15 in Karachi, the PCB is yet to send the accounts to the franchises who are given a major portion of earnings from broadcasting, media and title rights, sponsorship and other avenues.
A source in the PCB was quoted as saying that the reason for taking bank guarantees from the franchises since the launch of the PSL in 2016 was to ensure that payments to the overseas and local players were not delayed at any stage.
“Until now the PSL has earned the reputation of being financially a very stable venture for players and officials since the board directly deals with the players and pays them,” the source said.
He said unlike in some other leagues where players have complained about late payments or no payments at all, the PCB has ensured this didn’t happen with the PSL.
He said in some cases the board even encashed bank guarantees of one or two franchises in the past when they delayed on payments.
Relations between the franchisees and the board have been tense for a while since the former believe that with the PSL now becoming a successful brand they should be given a greater share of revenues to recover losses from the first four editions.
Earlier, the board also formed a working committee to address franchises’ reservations but no progress was made despite extensive discussions.
The PCB has announced that the fifth edition of the PSL will be held entirely in Pakistan but some franchises also have doubts whether this would be possible since it would not be easy convincing and drafting overseas players to play the entire competition in the country.
Due to security concerns the first edition of the PSL was held entirely in the UAE while the final of the second edition was held in Lahore. In the third and fourth editions, the PCB managed to hold some matches of the PSL including playoffs and the final in Lahore and Karachi.