Wants top stars to play in ODIs versus Sri Lanka March 21, 2008

PCB to ensure participation of IPL-bound players

Cricinfo staff

The PCB is making plans to ensure that Pakistan's top stars feature in the ODIs against Sri Lanka © AFP

The Pakistan board wants players who have signed on with the Indian Premier League (IPL) to participate in the upcoming one-day series against Sri Lanka, and is trying to chalk out a policy to ensure the same.

Though the exact schedule of Sri Lanka's brief tour hasn't been announced, The News, a Karachi-based newspaper, reported that it is likely to take place between April 23 and May 5. The inaugural edition of the IPL will go on from April 18 to June 1.

"The executive board [of the PCB] is to devise our IPL policy and hopefully we would find a way to keep our players available for the series," Shafqat Naghmi, the PCB's chief operating officer, said, adding that the issue will be discussed when the executive board meets in Lahore on Saturday (March 22).

But Naghmi also wanted the Sri Lankan board to follow suit, saying "both we and Sri Lanka will have to find ways ensure the participation of our top stars in the series."

A host of top Pakistan cricketers such as captain Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar have signed lucrative contracts with various franchises of the IPL. But the board is set to have a final say on the matter, as it was decided in the recently concluded ICC chief executive meet that bilateral cricket between Full Member nations will take precedence over IPL fixtures, and that a board could object to a players participation in the league.