Pakistan Super League news February 8, 2013

Pakistan Super League postponed indefinitely


The Pakistan Super League, the country's franchise-based Twenty20 tournament, has been indefinitely postponed for the organisers to sort out logistical issues. The PSL, which is run by the Pakistan board, was supposed to be held between March 26 and April 7 in Pakistan but a PCB statement said the delay was to give investors more time to submit bids and also to avoid scheduling conflicts with other cricket tournaments.

The decision was taken on Friday after PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf met the Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik in Islamabad. The postponement wasn't revealed in the press conference that followed the meeting but in a detailed press release that was subsequently issued. The PCB has formed a committee to look for a slot more feasible to the investors to reschedule the tournament.

"The decision to move away from the planned dates of the PSL is an extremely difficult one but for the benefit of all stakeholders and the league," PSL managing director Salman Sarwar Butt said. "The PCB management has decided to reschedule the event and move it to a period where there are fewer scheduling conflicts, and the stakeholders get enough time to develop their business plans."

The PSL business model - unveiled on January 10 - was expected to fetch the PCB "in excess of $100 million over the years." It was to feature five teams and 23 matches, to be played at a single, as yet undisclosed, venue. The PCB had also announced the base prices of players at a proposed auction though they didn't reveal the pool of players who had signed up for the tournament. The board also invited bids for the broadcasters and had been confident of lining up investors for the franchises within a month.

"Over 15 potential franchise buyers, around 10 top broadcasters and various potential sponsors from large business houses have collected the bid documents and shown extremely keen interest in acquiring respective rights," Butt said. "However, there are several other investors who would like us to give them more time for our various rights."

Launching the PSL wasn't a straightforward business for the PCB as no international cricket has been played in Pakistan since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test in Lahore in 2009, and the country is still struggling with its law and order situation. The PCB itself has been hosting home series away from home, mostly in the United Arab Emirates, and no country is ready to provide No Objection Certificates (NOC) to its players for featuring in the PSL.

The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) had also raised concerns over the security situation in Pakistan and warned players against taking part in the PSL, calling it an unmanageable risk. The original schedule would have also clashed with the pre-poll campaigns ahead of general elections expected to be held in May.

ESPNcricinfo understands that there were suggestions to stage the PSL outside Pakistan but the PCB decided to keep it in the country, in line with the league's stated objective of "improving the image of the country and revival of international cricket".

"There is no way we are backing down from our major objective," Ashraf said. "We are extremely encouraged by various stakeholders including the broadcasters and financiers from across the world and looking at the response it gives us a lot of confidence that our league is a success. We envisage that as suggested, the shift in our timelines will drive more interested stakeholders towards PSL and make this one of the most sought after league in the cricketing world."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Abdul on February 11, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    @Amjad Khan: I think you didn't read the next articles of cricinfo regarding payment issues of BPL. Thats why you copied an old Article. be updated bro...

    @AmjadZork: Do you actually believe that, 80 players sign with PSL without their Board permission. It seems PSL did what PCB claimed to BPL regarding sign with players without NOC from Board. PSL should avoid those mistakes which other tournament did. I hope PSL success but let the people know the real story. Tell PCB not to act like politicians.

  • Dummy4 on February 11, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    PCB should have swallowed their pride when dealing with BCB as BCB has its right not to commit on a tour or break a commitment on security ground. This is 1st mistake. The 2nd mistake is they didn't allowed players to join BPL. At least fringe players could have joined and earned some money. During difficult times, people need to keep away their ego and adapt to the circumstances. Third mistake was rushing to initiate the PSL without doing the reality check. PSL will happen but the timing isn't right. Now if PCB is so sure about the security, they could have started a low budget version or reduce the number of foreigners in a team with WI, Zim, Irish cricketers, as they can get NOC (recently published news). PCB didn't do it either. PCB should stop blaming other nations for this. Pakistan creates lot of excitement into the game,I guess all countries want to play with Pakistan. PCB need a better diplomat and administrator than Mr. Ashraf.

  • Amjad on February 11, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    @abcd - Didnt you read the cricinfo article the other day:

    Unpaid fees and broken promises could lead to a players' boycott of the Bangladesh Premier League, Tim May has warned. May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) has revealed that "many" overseas players involved in the BPL remain unpaid and that players' patience with the organisers has worn thin. "The players are very seriously considering some sort of boycott simply because there is little else they can do," May told ESPNcricinfo. "They were promised 25% of their fees as soon as they arrived in Bangladesh, another 25% before the last game and the final 50% within 150 days of the end of the event. "In most cases, those first payments have not been made. As for the rest of the fees the players are owed, well, good lucking seeing that."

  • Amjad on February 11, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    The article clearly says "The decision was taken on Friday after PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf met the Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik in Islamabad."

    For all that who dont know, Rehman Mailk is the Interior Minister of Pakistan & he couldnt guarantee the top most security & arrangement at this moment as there are General Elections starting in March. Elections & politics in Pakistan is very messy & bloody !!

    @ abcd - Tehy didnt release the name of the foreign players so where am i going t produce the names from. Do you want me to fake it or what!!

  • Farhan on February 10, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    80 foreign player signed up. Mr. Ashraf im not asking you to release any name but could you please release the average age??? I am assuming it will be something around 38. God some people really make big claim. PSL was postponed because apart from some of the retired player such as Gibbs, Symond no one else showed any interest. Yes some of the British Pakistani player and Afgan player will go but that's it. You can't run a T20 league when there is not even 20 foreign player they can buy from

  • Imran on February 10, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    well it wasnt ideal time anyways as general elections are round the corner. it will happen but let the new government come and get settle.

  • mohammad on February 10, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    AmjadZork Whom you are calling poor players? Tilakaratne Dilshan,Luke Wright,Brad Hodge,Azahar Mahmood,Alfonso Thomas- all IPL stars? And 80 foreign players have signed up for PSL? Name 8 players of them please.

  • Amjad on February 10, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Didnt you people read in the article "Over 80 foreign players (and growing) have already signed to participate in PSL auction but the process of NOCs from the relevant boards is still underway and would require some time. "

    Btw, Bangladeshis should first pay the poor players who came all the way to play in BPL? It seems BCB is short of money !!!

  • Aamir Shehzad on February 10, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Some Bangladeshi expressing happiness for PSL being postponed like it is canceled and will never happen but it will happen soon. It is just postponed because it must be having lots of sponsors and PCB besides its original motive wants to cash it. Why BPL wasn't postponed because had it been then BCB would have lost their sponsors and for PSL the situation is reverse. I am to see Indian fans supporting PSL. India and BCCI owns a massive domestic league that is IPL with great success that give them reason not to get jealous of our PSL.

  • Amit on February 10, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Ohhh very sad it must be due to shortage of money.

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