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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 October 2018

Ehsan Mani: Pakistan want assurances before releasing players for T10 League

New chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board wants to be more 'selective' on what tournaments players are available for

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani speaks in Dubai on Sunday. AFP
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani speaks in Dubai on Sunday. AFP

Pakistan need to manage the workload of their leading players in the same way India have done with Virat Kohli, meaning they are even less likely to appear in the T10 League and UAE T20x in future.

That is the view of Ehsan Mani, the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, who wants to enforce the policy of permitting their contracted players to play in just one Twenty20 league, other than the Pakistan Super League.

India currently do not allow any of their stars to play in leagues other than the Indian Premier League, a policy Mani termed “commendable”. Kohli has even been rested from international duty for the ongoing Asia Cup.

Mani said the PCB has a duty to protect their players’ welfare, as well as their own reputation.

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“The players’ workload is huge,” Mani said, at a media briefing in the mid-innings break during the Pakistan-India Super Four match in the Asia Cup in Dubai on Sunday.

“There is a proliferation of these franchises and leagues, and we have to be very, very selective.

“The PCB already has a policy in principle that no player can play in more than one league apart from PSL.

“If they are non-seasonal ones, like West Indies, South Africa or England, that does not clash with the PCB, so those I would look at.

“We have to be selective and protect our players. BCCI has done a commendable job in looking after their players’ workload.

"Virat Kohli is not here [at the Asia Cup] for a good reason. He has played a lot of cricket, and they are letting him rest now.”

Sarfraz Ahmed, who captains Pakistan in all three international formats, was also in charge of Bengal Tigers in the first T10 League, in Sharjah last year.

Mohammed Amir was the first player drafted in that competition, and a number of other leading Pakistani players also featured.

However, with the draft for the second season of the 10-over competition set to take place in Dubai on Monday, it is unclear which Pakistan players will be available.

The league was hit by controversy last week when Salman Iqbal, its president, resigned, citing a lack of transparency and warning Pakistan players to avoid being involved.

And Mani has reservations over the funding of the league, which is a private enterprise sanctioned – rather than run directly – by the Emirates Cricket Board.

He suggested the PCB would be more willing to release its players for a competition such as the ECB’s new UAE T20x, as it is run by an ICC member board, provided it does not clash with Pakistan cricket.

“I will first satisfy myself that we have enough information on the T10 before we release our players,” Mani said.

“We have to be satisfied where the money is coming from. We have to be satisfied who the sponsors are, we have to be satisfied who the franchisees are. None of this information exists in any file in the PCB today.

“Until we are satisfied there are no risks to the players, the board, or our reputation, no player will play.

“We are having discussions with ICC on this, and if they can give us assurances they do not have an issue with the T10, then I will not have an issue.”