With less than two months remaining for the launch of Pakistan Super League (PSL), its governing council is considering the possibility of increasing the pool of foreign players from 30 to 40 on the basis of encouraging response to the event.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had announced that the league will get underway from March 26 and it has been learnt that the contacts between the agents and foreign players have increased substantially.
“We’re seriously thinking of increasing the pool of foreign players from 30 to 40,” a senior PCB official working on the PSL told The Express Tribune. “Eight foreign players could be given to each of the five franchises instead of the initial quota of six but only four will become part of the playing XI.”
There have been growing questions about the ability of the PCB of making PSL a reality with big names from the cricketing world taking part in it. But the official said that his team remains confident as they have reached an agreement with some players while they are close to finalising others.
According to reports, the Pakistan team which is on touring South Africa has been briefed by the PCB to try and get top players from the number one team to become part of the venture.
While several national T20 leagues are being monitored for prospective players, it is being speculated that players from the Caribbean T20 may feature heavily in the PSL.
Selection committee submits 70-player list
Meanwhile, the national selection committee led by Iqbal Qasim has prepared a list of 70 domestic players to undergo PSL’s auction – likely to be held in the last week of February or the first week of March – and has submitted it to the PCB.
All players – domestic and foreign – will be placed in five categories for the auction and the bidding for players in the diamond category will start at $100,000, platinum at $75,000, gold at $50,000, silver at $25,000 and $5,000 to $10,000 will be the initial bids for emerging players.
“We’ve completed our draft and have sent it to the PCB,” said one of the members of the selection committee. “We gave our opinion by placing the players in respective categories but the board will have the final world.”
A PSL official commented that besides taking the selection committee on board, the governing council will also have to consider the marketing side of the T20 league. He further said the placement of a star attraction in a lower category would be detrimental to the image of PSL.
PCB rebuffs reports about Cricket Australia
The PCB has rebuffed reports that Cricket Australia (CA) has said it would not be supportive of any international or state contracted players participating in the PSL due to security concerns.
“We’ve received nothing from CA officially and thus feel that such reports are baseless,” a PCB media department official said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2013.