By Muhammad Luqman
In an unexpected move, the Pakistan Cricket Board has cancelled No-Objection Certificates given to 13 players currently in England and the West Indies and has asked them to return home to fulfill national and domestic commitments.
The board had originally given as many as 10 players, including seven centrally contracted cricketers, permission to play the entire Caribbean Premier League (CPL) – which began on August 4 and runs until September 9. Three cricketers without central contracts – Kamran Akmal, Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Sami – have also been asked to return after they were selected by Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Lahore Whites for the National T20 Cup .
Pakistan players called back from CPL are- Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Babar Azam, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Tanvir, Kamran Akmal ; and from England: Sarfraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Amir
The same notices went out to Mohammad Amir, who was to stay with Essex until September, Sarfraz Ahmed, who was to play five games for Yorkshire in the Natwest T20 Blast, and Fakhar Zaman, who was set to join Somerset until the end of the season.
The World XI’s visit – subject to security clearance – was originally scheduled for the last week of September but it has been brought forward into a window between September 10 and 16. This change was made to ensure the series would not clash with a high profile by-election in Lahore on September 17. The seat had fallen vacant after Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification from the post of Prime Minister last month.
However, the final call over the World XI matches is expected to be taken by the government.
Amid this tight schedule, the PCB announced a National T20 Championship running from August 25 to September 10.
By Muhammad Luqman