The PCB is refusing to provide No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Pakistani players – contracted or not contracted – who want to participate in the upcoming BBL season. The board has also not clarified whether it will allow the players to take part in the ILT20 in the UAE early next year. It is believed that the reason for this trend is the packed calendar – domestic and international. But it is not clear why players without contracts are being banned at the national or domestic level.
With the addition of the new league of ILT20 and CSA, the demand for Pakistani players is likely to be more than ever. But, at present, even putting one’s name in the draft requires permission from the PCB, forgetting to get the NOC to play.
As a result, there is a growing sense of despair among Pakistan’s top players, who feel they are missing out on huge monetary gains – effectively barred from playing in the IPL. There was a suggestion at one stage that the PCB could compensate players for not playing in other leagues, but the high value of contracts in those leagues – upwards of US$400,000 in ILT20 – has since seen the PCB silent. offer.
Contributing to the mess is the upcoming issue of player central contracts, although the matters are not directly connected. The PCB announced that it is offering to split 33 contracts between white and red-ball players for 2022-23. Players have asked the board for copies of the contracts so that they can pass them legally before deciding to sign them.
This is standard practice in most countries, but has not been the case in Pakistan, where players are used to being given their central contracts – usually just before the tour, or during the pre-tour camp – and after signing and returning. is called for. them almost immediately. Often, these contracts are up to 150 pages long.
Historically, the PCB has not formally negotiated a liaison with players, and players have rarely disputed a clause, beyond ensuring satisfactory annual pay increases. But the current crop of players are becoming increasingly aware of their commercial value and how it should be represented in contracts.
As a recent example, a player was initially told that he could not sign a personal deal with a company that is in the same industry as an affiliate of the PCB. [not title] Sponsor While there are clauses in the contract that prevent players from signing deals that conflict with Pakistan’s principle sponsorship – for example, an individual deal with a company that is in direct competition with Pepsi, the PCB’s title Sponsors – The policy is not clear about small sponsorships. In this instance, through his legal representation, the player was able to persuade the PCB to obey.
At present, there is no evidence that players cannot sign contracts in the form of a bargaining chip to force the PCB to backtrack on the issue of NOCs, but matters are likely to flare up.
As was the case in November 2019, the absence of a players’ union in Pakistan is the elephant in the room, negotiating central contracts and looking after player welfare, as well as implementing comprehensive policies that serve as a framework for such situations. can function as , Normally, player agents have played the role but the PCB refuses to deal with them on contracts. There have been many attempts in the past to form a union, none have been successful.
PCB has been contacted for comment.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent