LAHORE: Several senior Pakistan players, including captain Misbahul Haq and former captain Shahid Afridi, are reportedly unhappy with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after the board’s refusal to award them permission for an exhibition Twenty20 in Toronto on May 12.
The players had reportedly sought permission from Intikhab Alam, former coach and manager who is now a PCB Director, and had received verbal assurance.
“It has transpired that since none of the players has applied for NOCs in writing from the PCB and they did not submit details of the organisers and the match, the PCB has refused permission,” said an official before adding that the players were now blaming Intikhab for the confusion.
“Even if Intikhab gave them permission verbally, the board can’t act without having something in writing. None of the players bothered to seek permission or an NOC in writing from the relevant authorities in the board. How do they expect to get permission then.”
The official added that under existing regulation, no player can confirm his appearance in a match or enter into a deal with any foreign club without taking the PCB into confidence and getting an NOC.
“All players who now go to play in foreign leagues have to follow this practice. It was adopted for the Bangladesh Premier League and even when players signed contracts with English counties.”
Players thought verbal assurance was enough
Misbah and Afridi were in Thailand for a commercial shoot and did not have time to write to the PCB while they, and the others, thought the verbal clearance from Intikhab was enough and he would talk to the board himself. The organisers, meanwhile, are not happy with the situation as tickets for the match were sold on the basis of these Pakistan stars confirming their appearance.
“The organisers point out that tickets were sold because they advertised that Misbah, Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Akmal and Hammad Azam were the players who would take part in the match. They even arranged electronic Canadian visas for the players after confirmation from them and they fear if the players don’t show up, they could face heavy financial losses.”
While a PCB official said that if the players applied for the permission in writing even now, it can all be processed within a few days.
“It can still be done but we have to see what the team management thinks about sending players abroad when the national camp for the Sri Lanka tour is due to start from May 12.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.