Spurred by the successful staging of exhibition matches at the weekend, which were organised by Sindh Sports Minister Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is now making all-out efforts to hold the inaugural Pakistan Premier League (PPL).
As the board looks to the return of top-flight international cricket in the country, the PPL is being seen as another step towards the revival and efforts are being made to make the event possible in March 2013.
Several big names have been invited, according to an official close to the PCB committee, and at least one Twenty20 ‘super star’ is being targeted for each of the five teams competing in the tournament. The PCB is also aiming to invite a total of 30 international players for the league.
“The committee [led by PCB Director General Javed Miandad] is targeting five super stars with at least one for each team,” the official told The Express Tribune. “This category comprises current super stars of international cricket. We have already extended our invitation to several such players and are in talks with them. Half of them have been approached directly, while others were contacted through their agents.”
The official, however, refrained from disclosing names, saying it was ‘inappropriate’ since talks were still underway.
“But these players also include members of the West Indies team that won the World Twenty20 recently. We are hopeful that big stars will come as security concerns is not an issue for them.
“It all depends on how much money can be offered to the participating players and their availability in the given period.”
Pakistan successfully hosted the International World XI team for two matches in Karachi and the official said the short festival will help in the PPL plan.
PCB committee to
Badar Rafae, a known cricket organiser who roped in the International World XI players for the exhibition matches, is working with the board as a consultant along with Sarwar Salman.
Rafae, who is said to be looking at the operations side of the PPL, is also likely to meet the International Cricket Council this month to discuss the formalities of holding the league in the country.
“The PPL plan is not in the air anymore and it appears certain that the PCB is working on it on a priority basis to make it happen.”
PPL presentation in GB meeting today
Meanwhile, Sarwar is likely to give an important presentation during the governing board meeting which will be held today in Abbottabad.
“It will be an important presentation in which the governing body will also be apprised of how much work has been done on the plan so far.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2012.