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PSL set to become a separate entity

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan speaks at the draft PCB

The PCB's governing board has approved the overhaul of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), and its de-linking from the Pakistan board. The PSL is set to become a separate entity run by its own governing board, which will be headed by a chairman and an executive officer, along with two independent directors. The league will be registered as a private limited company and will be run independently of the PCB. The idea was drafted and presented by PSL chairman Najam Sethi.

The structure of PSL's governance, however, remained unclear as Sethi was reluctant to take questions on the league during the briefing at the PCB headquarters. He said that restructuring was underway and that the details would be shared with the media in due course.

A few key areas were still under debate, namely the control the Pakistan board would have over the PSL and the revenue-sharing between the two. PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had echoed concerns about the separation of the PSL from the PCB but was a part of the governing board that unanimously approved the proposal after a nine-hour meeting at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

The PSL will be a PCB-owned subsidiary, but the Pakistan board will draw a minor share from the tournament's revenue pool, with the a majority of the revenue being given to the franchises. Sethi told ESPNcricinfo that one of the factors behind making PSL a separate entity was the need to counter political restrictions, with a change in government bringing an inevitable change in the PCB's leadership too.

The immediate implication of the split is that all PSL contracts related to franchises, broadcasting, marketing and commercial matters will be rewritten and transferred from the PCB to the PSL. The league's governing board consists of five members - Sethi, Mansoor Khan and Shakeel Sheikh from the PCB's governing board; and two independent directors in Arif Habib, a renowned businessman, and Zia Rizvi, a corporate lawyer. The PCB's chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed and chief financial officer Badar Khan will be a non-voting members ex officio.

Both Sethi and Shaharyar are direct nominees of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who is Chief Patron of the PCB. Any changes in the federal government could thus result in an immediate change in the PCB. Following the appointment of Shaharyar as PCB chairman, the board has seen two power centres emerge, with Sethi, too, occupying key positions. The separation of the PSL could further exacerbate the issue with a key department working independently of the board.