Pakistan Super League shelved again
The Pakistan Super League (PSL), the PCB's proposed franchise-based Twenty20 tournament, will not kick off this year. This is the second time in the last 18 months the tournament has been shelved. Earlier it was over logistic problems, this time it is mainly due to the "paucity of lead time" in the face of issues with the bidding process.
The PCB was planning to hold the PSL this winter, between December 2014 and January 2015, with the UAE as a potential venue for the five-team T20 competition. The board invited parties to acquire the PSL rights, but quality of the bids meant the PCB has decided to put it on hold.
There were six companies that showed interest in bidding but only two - Haier and Aman Foundation - showed the capability to provide a bank guarantee of US$3 million before taking part in the bid process. The board was due to open bids earlier this month but decided to delay the process by 10 days, before postponing it indefinitely.
"The PCB chairman [Shaharyar Khan] explained to the representatives of both the bidders as to why it had become extremely difficult to organise the inaugural PSL edition this year," the PCB said in a press release. "Chief among the reasons behind taking this decision was the paucity of lead time.
"The PCB Chairman thanked both the bidders on understanding the board's predicament, while communicating to them cancellation of the bidding process, simultaneously handing back the financial proposals, bid security and bid participation fee to the bidders unopened."
"The PCB is committed to holding the PSL, and I hope that both Haier and Aman Foundation shall take part in the bidding when the tendering process is reinitiated shortly," Shaharyar Khan said in the statement. "The board meanwhile is finalising a window in the future tours programme, which affords it sufficient lead time to launch PSL well and make the event a success."
During Zaka Ashraf regime, the PSL business model - unveiled in January - was expected to fetch the PCB "in excess of $100 million". The PCB had also announced the base prices of players for a proposed auction, though it didn't reveal the pool of players who had signed up for the tournament.
The launching the PSL has not been a straightforward business for the PCB so far, as no international cricket has been played in Pakistan since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson