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PCB limits contracted players to two T20 leagues in one season

LAHORE: In a major policy change, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has restricted its centrally-contracted players to just two foreign Twenty20 leagues in a single season besides making it mandatory for non-contracted players to feature in at least three first-class matches in order to get NOC for competing in three T20 leagues during one season.

A high-level PCB committee discussed various cricket-related matters during a meeting held here on May 3. Its decisions however were announced on Wednesday after the approval from PCB chairman Najam Sethi — the head of the committee — was received.

 

The members of the committee who attended the meeting include PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed, director academies Mudassar Nazar, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, director cricket operations Haroon Rasheed, adviser to PCB chairman Shakil Shaikh and senior manager domestic cricket operations Saqib Irfan.

The agenda of the meeting encompassed rules for privately organised cricket events, NOC policy for players participating in foreign T20 leagues, proposed domestic cricket structure and existing infrastructure and its uplift.

According to the decision, PCB’s centrally-contracted players are restricted to feature in two T20 leagues during a season while non-contracted players three domestic first-class matches to get the NOC for competing in T20 leagues.

“Retired players do not need any NOC from the PCB. However, as per the ICC rule they are bound to obtain NOC from the PCB for two years from the date of their retirement,” the decision reads.

“To deal with special cases not covered under the rules, i.e. for exceptions, a four-member committee comprising chairman, chief selector, head coach [Pakistan team] and director cricket operations will decide to issue NOC for players participation in any additional league,” it added.

In other noteworthy decisions regarding domestic cricket, the said committee cut short the cost of the domestic season and to raise match fees for domestic players, by suspending the monthly stipend scheme of top 20 players of each region. It also decided to upgrade 18 different stadiums across the country to enable them to host first-class matches according to international standards.On a proposal made by Inzamam, an amendment was made to the domestic structure, according to which one-day and four-day matches will be held simultaneously with one-day break between two matches.

“It will cut short the cost of domestic [cricket] budget because in the existing system 15 players of each season go separately to play one-day tournament and then another 15 to play four-day matches. But now a 17-member team will be allowed to travel once to play both the matches. So, it will reduce the expenditure of travelling and accommodation and food to a significant extent,” sources told Dawn.

It was also decided that “eight regions and eight departments will play first-class cricket in a combined Quaid-i-Azam Trophy. The bottom-ranked team of regions i.e. Faisalabad from 2017-18 Quaid Trophy will be relegated to QAT Grade-II and in its place the top-ranked region team of Grade-II 2017-18 winner of QAT G-II will be promoted to first-class cricket for the 2018-19 season”.

“Likewise, bottom-ranked departmental team i.e. National Bank of Pakistan from 2017-18 QAT will be relegated to Patron’s Trophy Grade-II and in its place top-ranked departmental team of Patron’s Trophy Grade-II i.e. ZTBL will be promoted to first-class cricket for the 2018-19 season,” it was further decided.