We plan to launch Pak T20 league in March: PCB tells ICC

Updated: Oct 30, 2012, 20:49 PM IST

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board has informed the International Cricket Council that it plans to launch its premier league Twenty20 tournament tentatively in March 2013.

According to reliable sources within the board, the ICC has been taken on board regarding the plans by the PCB to hold its premier league.

"The PCB has informed the ICC of a tentative window when it is planning to hold the PL as it believes that any more delays in launching the event would derail it and reduce its effectiveness to attract foreign players to Pakistan," one source told PTI.

The PCB has indicated that it is planning to sell five franchises in the PL with each franchise to be permitted to sign on six overseas players.

"It is not going to be an easy task convincing foreign players to come and play in the PL due to the uncertain security conditions but the PCB remains confident it can move forward with the PL despite a limited window for the event," the source added.

Interestingly, the source said some officials of theboard had also made a flying visit to Dubai last week to give a presentation to some business houses and wealthy individuals there as the PCB saw the Middle East market as a viable one to find sponsorship and financial backing for the PL.

"The PCB is also not ruling out the possibility of finding interested buyers and takers for the PL franchises in India although the Indian Premier League is also due to begin from April 3 next year," another source said.

"Homework is being done on how to tap the Indian market where cricket has a big commercial pull and the PCB is aware that even the Bangladesh and Sri Lankan premier leagues had some financial backing and sponsorship from Indian companies," the source said.

The source didn`t rule out the possiblity of the PCB seeking some support from the Indian cricket Board for its venture specially after a thaw in the relations between the two countries.

The source, however, conceded that the PCB was aware that if it gets a five year tax exemption from the government for the PL it would make its task easier to sell the franchises, get foreign investment.

"But the bottom line is until now no party has made any sort of commitment to the PCB for the PL. Right now even the PCB is testing out the waters and meeting different business houses and wealthy individuals to see where they stand," the source added.