Franchises appreciated PCB for setting up independent PSL department


Bureau Report

Lahore: All six franchises appreciated the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for setting up an independent Pakistan Super League (PSL) department.
Representatives from franchises and PCB chairman Ehsan Mani met via teleconference in eighth meeting of the PSL Governing Council. The meeting discussed how an independent PSL department, headed by Project Executive Shoaib Naveed, will work towards flourishing the only Twenty20 league of Pakistan.
The Franchises and PCB agreed to a framework of regular contact between the teams and the PSL Department, aiming to increase consultative dialogue on various operational and strategic matters relating to the league.
On the other hand, franchises and cricket board reiterated their most preferred option remained the staging of the remaining four matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 in November. Having expressed that optimism, they acknowledged there were a number of moving pieces due to the Covid-19 pandemic and agreed to continue to review and monitor the situation internally before making recommendations to the Governing Council.
“Once again, it was an engaging and interesting Governing Council meeting with common interest being the wellbeing and future of the HBL Pakistan Super League. Of course, the future of the HBL PSL is critical to the PCB and the franchisees and, as such, there was a continued commitment to make it a bigger, better and stronger brand.
“The PCB and the franchisees expressed determination that they will continue to work together to resolve all pending matters and ensure all parties continue to flourish and benefit from what is now one of biggest and most followed cricket leagues in the world,” he said.
A heavy debate on different issues between the Pakistan Cricket Board and the PSL franchises are to be discussed when the general council will meet online on Thursday.
Options will be discussed over the remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League’s season V which were abruptly postponed owing to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation with the semi-finals — and the final — still to be played just hours before the start of the first semi-final at the Gaddafi Stadium on March 17.
Though the PCB are still keen on staging the said fixtures, provided a suitable window is available later this year, but the grave Covid-19 situation has prevented board from making a concrete decision.
The PCB also has a proposal to hold the matches just before start of the sixth edition next year. Except Multan Sultans — who topped the six-team standings — none of the other semi-finalists — Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi — are in favour of the matches being cancelled.
Another key factor that the PCB want to decide is the financial status because holding matches under the prevailing circumstances may result in huge losses. The third option that is likely to be discussed is to distribute US$500,000 in prize money equally among the franchises without declaring the eventual champions and the rest of competition abandoned.
Moreover, though the franchises have a longstanding demand to make a separate company for handling of all PSL affairs. During last Friday’s meeting of PCB governing board, it was decided that a separate department for PSL be formed.
Meanwhile, according to a media report that despite holding all PSL V matches in the country — during which 500,000 spectators turned up for the games — the league’s expenditures are on the higher side as compared to the matches staged in the UAE during the previous editions.
The franchises are also demanding the PCB to extend their contract of period from the existing 10 years to 15 since they have been incurring losses so far.