PCB allows cricketers to return to CPL, county

Less than a fortnight since Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recalled its players midway through CPL and County Championship, it has decided to let them go back their respective stints in the West Indies and England. PCB had taken the step of revoking the players’ No-Objection Certificate (NOC) in order for them to be available for national as well as domestic tournaments.

While Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Sami, Imad Wasim, Babar Azam, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Kamran Akmal, Hasan Ali and Sohail Tanvir had to cut short their CPL season, the trio of Sarfraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Amir had returned from England. They will now undergo fitness tests before jetting off to their respective destinations.

PCB chairman Najam Sethi explained the complete change of plans for the 13 cricketers involved in CPL and county was owing to the confirmation of the World XI series in September and the subsequent rescheduling of Pakistan domestic competition -National T20.

“The World XI series was not officially confirmed when we set the dates for our domestic tournament. That series falls right in the middle of when our competition would have been played. Then there’s a by-election [on September 17], and after that the team has to go to the UAE, so the competition was squeezed out. As a result, we have moved it to November,” Sethi said in a press conference on Monday (August 21).

“An added advantage of this arrangement is that our players who are taking part in the CPL and other county will be able to take full part in those tournaments. This will make the players happy too, as well as the CPL.”

Initially, PCB had planned to host the national T20 cup from August 25 to September 10, before the World XI series was officially confirmed to take place. Once it was confirmed, the board saw it fit to reschedule the domestic T20 tournament to November.

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