Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Pakistan withdraws players from Abu Dhabi T10, but Shahid Afridi is still set to play

PCB wants its cricketers to feature in domestic cricket, revokes clearance for 10-over competition

Shahid Afridi, right, will still turn out for the Qalandars this year in the revamped Abu Dhabi T10.
Shahid Afridi, right, will still turn out for the Qalandars this year in the revamped Abu Dhabi T10.

The Pakistan cricket board (PCB) on Wednesday revoked the ‘no objection certificate’ it had given to its contracted players to feature in next month’s Abu Dhabi T10, citing workload management and primacy of domestic cricket as the reasons.

In a huge blow to the tournament, no Pakistan player – apart from the retired Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir – will feature in the 10-over tournament which will take place in the capital city from November 15-24.

Explaining their decision, the PCB said that as they have lined up a fitness camp ahead of the next round of first-class matches, monitoring the workload of players was imperative.

“To manage the players’ workload, continued work on their fitness levels as well as to ensure primacy and participation of players in its premier Quaid-e-Azam trophy, the PCB has revoked conditional NOCs of its players to feature in the T10 tournament,” the board said in a statement.

“The fitness and medical assessment camp will be held at the National Cricket Academy from November 13-25, while the seventh and 10th round matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy will be played between November 11 and December 5 with the five-day final scheduled in Karachi from December 9-13.

“The decision has been made in the best interest of the players as well as to continue to enhance the credibility and reputation of the new domestic structure, which has been widely covered and reported across all media outlets.”

The decision means the T10 tournament will lose a big chunk of its Pakistani star power. Among those who will no longer be a part of Abu Dhabi T10 are Mohammed Amir (Team Abu Dhabi), Mohammed Hafeez (Qalandars), Shoaib Malik (Delhi Bulls) and Wahab Riaz (Northern Warriors).

Pakistani side Qalandars received the biggest setback following the announcement. After the player draft, the Qalandars’ squad included Sohail Akhtar, Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, and Haris Rauf among others from the country. Qalandars will lose the core of their side, even though Afridi and Nazir will still be a part of the team.

The withdrawal of the 'NOC' means only two out of the 19 Pakistani players originally picked will play in the tournament.

Updated: October 23, 2019 08:50 PM

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