Sethi hints at limiting national players’ participation in foreign leagues

LAHORE: The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management committee Najam Sethi hinted at limiting the participation of top national players in foreign leagues in a bid to prevent them from injuries.

Sethi, while interacting with the media after unveiling the complete schedule of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 8 responded to a question regarding players’ fitness woes and thus hinted at taking precautionary measures to avoid them.

“When I was the chairman of the PCB in 2017-18, we established a rule that no player can participate in more than two leagues. So, after coming back, I enquired about whether that rule is being followed or not, I did not get a satisfactory response,” revealed Sethi.

“Despite the rule in place, the players somehow get permission to participate in different leagues. So, that rule is not being followed,” he added.

Mr Sethi further revealed the proposal he received from PSL franchises regarding players’ availability ahead of the PSL 8 before categorically stating that the PCB will not risk their fitness at any cost.

“Recently, some of our players were wanting to partake in the Bangladesh Premier League including those who are going to be involved in the PSL. So, I asked management committee member Haroon Rashid as he was monitoring such cases to get feedback from their respective franchises if they will permit their players,” said Sethi.

“And if they get injured there and later ruled out of the PSL, who will be responsible for this and what should the policy be for it so we got a suggestion from the franchises that 15 days prior to the commencement of the PSL all the selected players should return to the country,” he maintained.

“So that is the proposal for us and I am ensuring you that definitely we will take action on this because we can’t risk it. There is so much cricket being played so we have to protect our players. It is true that players need financial assistance but not by risking national duty,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention that the eighth edition of the PSL will kick off on February 13 with hosts Multan Sultans taking on defending champions Lahore Qalandars in the curtain raiser.

Karachi, Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi will host the 34-match marquee event with each city-based franchise will play five matches in front of their fans and supporters – one against each side.

The PSL 8 will be held in two legs with Multan Cricket Stadium and National Bank Cricket Arena splitting matches from 13-26 February before the action shifts to the Gaddafi Stadium and Pindi Cricket Stadium where the matches will be played from 26 February to 19 March including playoffs and the final.

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