PCB steps up efforts to normalise ties with Emirates Cricket Board

Pakistan board wants assurance that no cricket will be played during 35 days leading up to PSL4

PCB steps up efforts to normalise ties with Emirates Cricket Board PHOTO: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made an effort to normalise the ties with the cricket authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to sources, the PCB has written a letter to the Emirates Cricket Board asking them not to schedule any other league in the country at least 35 days before the start of the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Sources confirmed that both the PCB and UAE cricketing authorities are keen on reaching a mutually agreeable solution regarding the PSL.

Both boards seem to be progressing in the right direction, with the possibility of the Emirates T20 League being organised from December 19, 2018 to January 10, 2019. That will leave a gap of more than 35 days till the start of PSL4 that is expected to begin in late February.

PCB chairman Najam Sethi had earlier warned the cricketing authorities in the UAE to avoid scheduling matches in the country between October and March.

Afghanistan Cricket Board’s T20 league will also take place in the Emirates in October, along with a T10 league in November.

A source reiterates that the PCB does not want the situation to deteriorate further as the Emirates Cricket Board has been extremely helpful in the past by allowing Pakistan to stage matches in the UAE after the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 in Lahore.

The PCB are also in a fix over moving the PSL outside the UAE as both Malaysia — the alternative venue — and Pakistan may not prove feasible at the moment.

The PCB is unsure about the facilities available in Malaysia and doubt if they can compete with those on offer in the UAE. Another issue with Malaysia is the increased chance of rain affecting matches.

It is also thought to be too soon to bring the entire PSL to Pakistan next year, despite the increase in international matches being hosted in the country. The board is wary of taking the leap too soon and believes a lot of the high-profile players will opt out of the tournament if they are asked to play the entire event in Pakistan.

However, a final decision regarding PSL4’s venue is expected to be decided in a meeting between the PCB and franchise owners on June 12.