PCB contemplates allowing Pakistani cricketers in ILT20

The second season of the UAE-based league will begin on January 13, 2024

PCB contemplates allowing Pakistani cricketers in ILT20 PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan players were missing from the inaugural edition of International League T20 (ILT20), which took place from January 13 to February 12 earlier this year.

The UAE-based league offered top players a whopping USD 450,000 for the first season. However, the organizers were ready to offer Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan up to USD 900,000. They were also being offered captaincy along with a three-year contract.

Along with the aforementioned trio, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hasnain were also contacted by various franchises for the first season. Azam Khan was in fact picked by Desert Vipers for the tournament but was later denied No-Objection Certificate by the PCB.

It was conveyed to all of them that they can come to play the league only when they have time away from PSL (Pakistan Super League) and national responsibilities. Despite this, the PCB did not grant permission to any of its players to participate in the league. Then-PCB Chairman, Ramiz Raja, had also asked compensation from the Emirates Cricket Board in exchange for releasing the players for the league.

However, the current PCB chief, Najam Sethi, does not hold a strict stance regarding the ILT20. Recently, during a meeting of the PSL governing council, he also stated that it would not be possible to stop Pakistani players now as the players are also considering forming association to protect their rights.

Sethi believes that PCB has good relations with the UAE, and based on the principle of 'give and take,' they can negotiate. It was suggested at that time, that the next season of Pakistan Super League (PSL) should start from Dubai, so that the event can gain hype and attract international players.

However, the PSL franchise owners do not agree with this suggestion. They believe that releasing Pakistani players and strengthening the ILT20 would be detrimental to PSL.

The sources suggest that if the current administration stays for next three years, Pakistani cricketers will be seen playing in the ILT20.