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.
The PCB, in a statement on Wednesday, said that the decision has been made in the best interest of the players as well as to continue enhancing the credibility and reputation of the new domestic structure.
“To manage the players’ workload, continued work on their fitness levels as well as to ensure primacy and participation of its players in its premier Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the PCB has revoked conditional NOCs of its players to feature in the T10 tournament,” the PCB said in the statement.
Now The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has requested Pakistan Cricket Board to change its mind, reported ESPNcricinfo.
Emirates Cricket Board robustly protested the PCB’s decision to not allow Pakistani players to participate in the T10 League.
The ECB’s vice-chairman Khalid Al Zarooni sent a letter last week to the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani that the decision is directly hurting the UAE government’s stakes in the tournament.
“We are extremely concerned by this late decision and are surprised to see that the decision has been taken without engaging any of the Abu Dhabi T10 league or Emirates Cricket Board members,” Zarooni’s letter to Mani read, a copy of which ESPNcricinfo has seen.
“As you must be aware, the three government entities (Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Cricket and Abu Dhabi Tourism) have officially supported and heavily invested in the Abu Dhabi T10 League to make it their home event. ECB is also looking to promote cricket in the country through this event and also utilising the opportunity to provide young emirates cricket players to improve their skills,” the letter said.
“Since this is our domestic property, ECB and UAE government have stakes in this league and the stopping of Pakistani players in the UAE governing / ECB backed league will cause serious damage to the property, sending a very negative message to the world about our cordial relationship. Emirates Cricket Board has always supported PCB and provided its ground and facilities to stage international matches and its domestic league, Pakistan Super League. In fact, the UAE as a destination has played a huge part in the success of the PSL.”
Pakistan Cricket Board hasn’t responded on it so far but Mani is believed to have told the ECB vice-chairman on the phone about the prime minister’s role in the decision.
He also advised the ECB to engage directly with Khan, through a senior UAE minister, to find a resolution. The ECB is thought to be weighing up the option of raising the issue of government interference in the PCB’s affairs with the ICC.
Earlier, The CEO of T10 franchise Qalandars Sameen Rana also lashes out at PCB on this decision.
“I wish it had been clear before the draft whether the PCB would issue NOCs or not,” Rana told ESPNcricinfo.
“The purpose of our team was to give the Pakistani players an opportunity,” said Rana. “This is visible from the draft we conducted, where there are 10 Pakistani players, including our captain Sohail Akhtar. We didn’t expect the NOCs to be revoked so late in the day. If we had, perhaps our decision would have been different.”
“Our team will be badly hurt; there is no doubt about it, but a lot of guys are here from the Player Development Programme. So we don’t need NOCs for them. These are players that we have developed and groomed, and they are on our contracts. But it would have been good to get support from the PCB because this is a fundamentally Pakistani team. Qalandar is a Pakistani name.”