PCB allows Pakistani players to play 'limited' matches in BBL 13

Board allows Haris Rauf and Usma Mir to play five matches each, Zaman given permission to feature in four games

By Web Desk
December 04, 2023
Pakistan's Haris Rauf celebrates after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim (not pictured) during the World Cup 2023 match between Pakistan and Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on October 31, 2023. — AFP

With Australia's Big Bash League (BBL) set to kick off on December 7, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Monday granted permission to multiple Pakistani players to play "limited" matches in the T20 tournament.

The NOCs, however, only apply to certain matches and do not allow the players to play the entire tournament.

The board has issued NOCs to Haris Rauf, Usama Mir, and Zaman Khan to play in the upcoming season of Australia's flagship league.

The decision to allow players to travel to Australia was made after "considering the workload of players and the future tours programme of the national men's team."

"This decision is in the best interests of all the stakeholders involved while balancing the importance of game time with workload management," the board's press release said.

Rauf (Melbourne Stars), a key figure in Pakistan's pace attack, has been permitted to feature in five matches. Similarly, Mir (Melbourne Stars) and Zaman Khan (Sydney Thunders) have received NOCs for five and four matches, respectively.

In a bid to balance their participation and national commitments, these NOCs have been allocated within a specific timeframe.

National cricketers have been cleared to participate in Australia's premier tournament between December 7-28.

Melbourne Stars will be relieved now after they were awaiting clearance for the participation of Rauf. They summoned England's Olly Stone to fill the gap of Rauf, who had already landed in Melbourne for the BBL.

Earlier, Stars announced the signing of recently-retired Pakistan star Imad Wasim, who will join the side as a replacement for England's Liam Dawson.

"With Liam available for the first three matches, we identified Wasim as a player who could come in and perform a role for us with his left-arm spin and lengthen our batting lineup," said Melbourne Stars General Manager Blair Crouch.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing lots of Pakistan fans in the crowd at the MCG with Imad joining his former national teammates, Usama Mir and Haris Rauf."

Melbourne Stars squad for BBL 13 comprises Scott Boland, Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Brody Couch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Dawson (England), Sam Harper, Campbell Kellaway, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Usama Mir (Pakistan), Joel Paris, Haris Rauf (Pakistan), Tom Rogers, Mark Steketee, Marcus Stoinis, Imad Wasim (Pakistan) and Beau Webster.

The BBL is scheduled to run from December 7, 2023, to January 24 next year.