LAHORE : Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has once again brought sudden changes in the Quaid-e-Azam (QeA) Trophy for the 2018-19 season, which has put players county future in doubt.
PCB is now keen on reverting to its old formula of holding four-day QeA trophy matches followed by one-day cup matches — for every round. The same venue will be used for both the formats.
It must be noted that a similar structure was also used in 2014 but it was scrapped a year later because it failed to deliver in accordance with the expectations.
The change in schedule has meant that players who are currently involved in county cricket in England will have to leave their commitments unfulfilled and return home early because the departments have issued a deadline of August 15 to report at the team camp.
As a result, the players will not only suffer financially but the development will also reduce their chances of securing a new contract next season as the county sides will be reluctant to sign players who can’t stay for the agreed period of time.
“If this is going to happen, it will be a huge setback for us. We have to breach these foreign clubs contracts to represent department in this tournament,” one cricketer expressed his grievances to Express News. “Not only we have to face financial loss, but it will be very difficult to get contracts next year.”
Speaking on the matter, a PCB official confirmed the reason behind change in schedule was to ensure that cricketers playing international cricket for Pakistan are also able to take part in the tournament bearing in mind their hectic schedule.
“National teams have non-stop engagement from September to January, so we are trying to make possible for them to play a few domestic matches,” a PCB official said.
The participation of United Bank Limited (UBL) team is still under consideration after reports that they’ve disbanded their team, but it is yet to be officially confirmed. July 30 was the deadline for teams to confirm participation in the tournament.
“July 30th was the deadline to submit team confirmation but UBL has not approached us,” the official said. “Now according to rules, we will decide the replacement side in a couple of days.”
The domestic season will start from September 1, unlike last year when it began on September 26.