Pakistan Super League news January 23, 2013

PCB announces auction slabs for PSL

The PCB has set base prices for five categories of players up for sale at the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL) auction scheduled for the last week of February. Players in the diamond category will have a starting price of $100,000, platinum $70,000, gold $50,000, silver $25,000 and the emerging category will be between $5000 and $10,000.

The Pakistan board is yet to reveal the pool of players available to the five franchises but is looking to finalise the names by February. The PCB didn't reveal the base prices for the five regional franchises either; the bidding process for the franchises will also start next month. The managing director of the PSL, Salman Sarwar Butt, and advisor Haroon Lorgat, also said the board was contemplating having a tax-free league.

The plan is for the tournament to be played over 15 days, a total of 23 matches for the first three years. The five teams will play each other twice in a league format with the top four qualifying for the semi-finals. Each of the five teams would be allowed to sign a maximum of six overseas players and would include 10 local cricketers plus two emerging players. The base prices for the players will be regulated by the PCB and franchises have to adhere to it.

"One of the most positive reasons they [franchises] are coming is to build the sport in Pakistan," Butt said. "They are more interested in putting the best team together rather than what is the price. Our direction is very clear, we are looking at Pakistan to hold this tournament and for now that is very clear. Every player in the respective category will be entered in the auction at base price and the franchise can buy the player at more than or equal to the base price."

The PCB has already invited bids for the broadcasting rights and advertised tenders for commercial partners and sponsors for the PSL. "We have got overwhelming response in terms of interest in buying a franchise," Butt said. "We are now working and talking to various parties and briefing them on franchise concept and the auction will be held next month."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent