The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) received a huge breakthrough in its bid to launch the Pakistan Premier League (PPL) when various national and international cricketers showed interest in featuring in the planned event.
The PCB, desperate to revive international cricket in Pakistan, is making huge efforts and using all its available resources to make the league a reality. The board, under chairman Zaka Ashraf, is confident that holding the tournament featuring renowned international cricketers will help a in reviving international cricket in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, according to an official close to the matter, following lukewarm response from foreign players after efforts from its officials, the PCB is now taking help from the country’s leading cricketers to use their personal relations and convince players to tour Pakistan.
“A senior member of the team is playing a vital role in this regard,” the official told The Express Tribune. “The cricketer’s representative is also in close touch with the PCB as well as foreign players on the issue. He’s already given a presentation which was impressive and is set to give an important one later this month.”
Jayasuryia, Symonds on board
The official added that the player helped get confirmation from former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya and retired Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds with both agreeing to be part of the league straight away. The name of West Indian legend Brian Lara has already been linked with PPL.
“These players have promised to feature whenever they are invited. This is just the beginning and we are expecting more confirmations. Although these cricketers have passed their prime, their participation will convince other players to come forward. The PCB will also take help from other players who feature on foreign tournaments regularly.”
Meanwhile, according to reports, four companies have shown interest in being associated with the league, a development that has encouraged the PCB. The idea was first floated by former chairman Nasim Ashraf in 2007 but, under Ijaz Butt, the plan was abandoned. However, the success of similar leagues in Bangladesh, Australia and South Africa, after the success of the IPL in India, prompted the board to re-launch its efforts.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.
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