Players ask PCB to revise Lankan itinerary to play in England

Lahore: Keen to play lucrative Twenty20 leagues abroad, some Pakistani cricketers have asked the PCB to re-jig the dates for the tour to Sri Lanka in June-July.

PCB sources said some players had committed to playing in the T20 league in England in June and some dates were clashing with the Pakistan team`s tour to Sri Lanka.

"These players now want the Board to make minor changes to the tour itinerary for which the PCB has agreed to speak to the Sri Lankan board," one source said.

Pakistani players have remained in high demand to play in different foreign T20 leagues including those held in Australia, England, South Africa and now Bangladesh.

A total of 18 Pakistani players are presently taking part in the Bangladesh Premier League at a time when the domestic cricket season is also being held in the country.

The Pentangular Cup final is scheduled to be held between February 18 and 22 between Sindh and Punjab provinces but most of the top players belonging to these provinces are playing in the BPL.

Some former Test players have raised questions over the Board`s policy to allow players to play in foreign T20 leagues at the cost of domestic cricket.

"The PCB doesn`t appear to have a clear policy on giving NOCs to players to play in foreign leagues because it is only devaluing the Pentangular Cup by allowing so many players to go and play in the Bangladesh league at the same time," former Test player Basit Ali said.

He pointed out that while board had given NOCs to many players at same time it had stopped some players from going to Bangladesh.

"It makes no sense at all to me. The PCB has no issues with players earning extra money as long as they don`t clash with national commitments. The changes in dates asked for by the players are minor in nature and the Sri Lankan board is yet to confirm the itinerary for the tour," a board official said.

Sources said the Sri Lankan board had sent a tentative itinerary to the board for approval after which the players raised issues with the dates.

Interestingly, the Indian Premier League continues to ignore the Pakistani players after signing some of them for the first season in 2008.