Pakistan‘s contracted international as well as domestic players will now be able to play a maximum of four T20 leagues in a year, Pakistan Cricket Board announced on Friday.
The new policy replaces the PCB’s old rule, set in May 2018, which allowed contracted players to participate in only two T20 leagues in a year. For domestic players, the rule required them to play at least three first-class matches before PCB could issue them a no-objection certificate.
The new cap of four T20 leagues includes the Pakistan Super League.
“I think this is a flexible, balanced and comprehensive NOC policy which addresses as many of the likely scenarios that we will face,” PCB’s chief executive officer Wasim Khan said.
— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) March 27, 2020
Overseas T20 leagues are a lucrative option for players around the world, but PCB’s strict guidelines had restricted Pakistan players, leading to discontent among its top stars. In November last year, top white-ball players such as Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim had spoken up against PCB’s rigid rules regarding overseas participation, after their NOCs for the T10 league were suddenly revoked by the board. Further, Pakistan players are left out of the IPL, one of the most financially rewarding T20 leagues in the world.
“We have given primacy and importance to player workload, international and domestic commitments,” Khan said, “but at the same time it was important that players are given the opportunities to make additional earnings and develop their skills around the world.
“To ensure that we maintain our relationships with cricket boards around the world, once granted, NOCs will only be revoked if there are any injury concerns, or there are international or domestic playing obligations that need to be fulfilled.”
The new rule will also tweak the existing stand on the participation of retired players in foreign leagues. The previous rule required even ex-players to seek an NOC from the board. The updated guidelines ensure that cricketers who have served a 24-month retirement period will automatically be issued NOCs by the board.