Chandigarh, November 3
Over the last few days, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) managed to avert a player strike after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had played a part in upsetting the players, Pakistani media and the website EspnCricinfo have reported.
The anger was over monetary losses suffered by the players — money they earn from franchise-based cricket. PCB had revoked NOCs (no objection certificates) for its players for an upcoming T10 league, to be played in Abu Dhabi.
Being barred from the Abu Dhabi T10 league reduced the earnings of the players, who are unable to tap into the riches of the IPL. Further, their stints in T20 leagues in Bangladesh (BPL) and Australia (BBL) are hit by international commitments as these events are organised during Pakistan’s home season. Players were also upset because many could play only part of the Caribbean Premier League in the West Indies.
As many as 15 top Pakistan players were picked up in the Abu Dhabi T10 league draft. PCB gave them NOCs, but later the NOCs for all current players were revoked. The decision was taken by PCB after Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his concerns to PCB chairman Ehsan Mani. According to Pakistani media, Imran Khan had reservations about Pakistani players participating in a league that has a lot of Indian investment in it, though the league also has Pakistani stakes, reported EspnCricinfo. It was reported that Imran Khan’s view was that the participation of Pakistani players in the league was not in line with Pakistan’s foreign policy stand on India.
Taking a hit
“If we play an entire domestic season even then we won’t be making as much as in these leagues,” an aggrieved player told EspnCricinfo. “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.”
Incidentally, during his playing days, Imran Khan was among several top Pakistani players who refused to play for Pakistan until they were paid better. It happened in the aftermath of the Kerry Packer controversy in the 1970s when Imran Khan was one of the “rebel” players who went to Australia after defying PCB to play in the World Series Cricket organised by Australian tycoon Packer. — TNS, agencies
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