No Pakistan players in BPL
None of the 26 Pakistan players auctioned in this season's Bangladesh Premier League will take part in the Twenty20 competition after the PCB refused to issue No Objection Certificates (NOCs).
The seven franchises will now have to hastily replace the cricketers in less than two days as the tournament begins on January 18. But the PCB's stance is seen here as a backhanded victory for the BCB who now have a justification not to tour Pakistan, a tour they originally cancelled on December 31 due to security concerns, as this was used as the main cause of disagreement between the two boards.
"A little while ago, we received a phone call from their COO Subhan Ahmed saying that if we don't send the Bangladesh team on tour to Pakistan, they won't give NOCs to their players to participate in the BPL," the BCB's media committee chairman Jalal Yunus said. "We will hold the tournament without their participation and it will start as per schedule, the opening ceremony on January 17 and the matches beginning on January 18."
The BCB president Nazmul Hassan said that the PCB knowingly waited till the last minute to inform them of the decision. "I couldn't imagine that they could deliberately wait for so long, a day before the opening ceremony, to inform us that they won't give the NOCs.
"There are many Pakistani cricketers who were bought in the auction so to have all of them pull out at the last minute is a problem for us."
Hassan said that the action by the PCB has given the BCB free reign on deciding to tour Pakistan, which they will not do without a second trip by a security team.
"We are no longer in a hurry. We were under tremendous pressure, so now we have some breathing space. Just before the start of a tournament, they have taken such a tough stance without any prior notice knowing that it would throw the organisation into jeopardy.
"We will now decide on the sort of response regarding Bangladesh's tour to Pakistan. It is not possible for us to commit to a tour without an inspection, and we will not be cowed down by any preconditions."
The franchises were informed on Tuesday evening of the situation, but the official word on the matter was only confirmed late on Wednesday afternoon after a final phone call from the PCB. Khulna will be the most severely hit as they have to replace Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Awais Zia, Umar Amin, Ahmed Shehzad, Haris Sohail and Bilawal Bhatti and they have already begun the process. The other six franchises have also been hit with Dhaka Gladiators being the least affected as they only lost Shahid Afridi.
Yunus explained that each team will put forward names to replace their Pakistan players and will be helped by the BPL governing council to contact them and seek NOCs. In the event of a dispute if a player is sought by more than one franchise, it will be decided on a first-come-first-serve basis.
"The teams are giving us names and we are giving approvals," he said. "Clause 4.4 says that if a player doesn't get an NOC he can be replaced. This replacement can be from within the list of unsold players from the auction or even from outside, for example we are talking to Kieron Pollard. We are trying to bring players from four or five other countries.
"Except for one or two players, most of the replacements are at a par with the Pakistan players. It is troublesome for the franchises, but we are taking it as a challenge. We are ready to face it."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent