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November 1, 2019

UAE unhappy as PCB doesn’t allow Pak players for T10

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November 1, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan has been holding its home series and most of the Pakistan Super League matches in the UAE for the last many years, but the country seems at odds with PCB at a time when international cricket is returning to Pakistan.

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has robustly protested the PCB's decision to not allow Pakistani players to participate in the T10 League. And several accounts suggest that, according to the PCB at least, the decision to revoke the NOCs came from the board patron and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The PCB spokesperson told the Jang correspondent that Pakistan’s position on T10 league is clear and no further comments could be offered on the “sensitive issue”.

The PCB originally allowed players to be drafted in the league but later revoked the permission last week. In a statement, the PCB said that the decision had been taken "to manage the players' workload, continued work on their fitness levels [and] to ensure primacy and participation of its player in its premier Quaid-e-Azam Trophy". The decision is a significant blow to this season of the T10 tournament, scheduled to begin on November 15, which was set to feature 16 top Pakistan players. The ECB's vice-chairman Khalid Al Zarooni sent a letter last week to the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani that the decision is directly hurting the UAE government's stakes in the tournament, and urged the Pakistani board to change its mind. Mani is believed to have told the ECB vice-chairman on the phone about the prime minister's role in the decision.

"As you must be aware, the three government entities (Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Cricket and Abu Dhabi Tourism) have officially supported and heavily invested in the Abu Dhabi T10 League to make it their home event," the letter said. "ECB is also looking to promote cricket in the country through this event and also utilising the opportunity to provide young emirates cricket players to improve their skills.

The PCB and T10 league have had a troubled history since the latter came into being two years ago. Last season, the PCB had held the players' NOCs till the last minute after Mani had raised concerns over the league's ownership patterns and sponsorship. The controversy started after the league's president, Salman Iqbal - also a major investor in the tournament - stepped down citing a lack of "transparency" and "proper systems and monitoring". He had also warned Pakistani players against taking part in the league.

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