The clash between unbeaten India, the defending champion, and hosts South Africa lived up to its billing as India secured a hard-fought victory.
Pakistan’s centrally contracted players would be able to play in a maximum of four foreign T20 leagues, including the PSL, after the PCB announced its new policy for issuing No Objection Certificates to them.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that in the new policy, the NOC requests will come through the International Cricket Operations department and the national head coach/team management, who will carry out due diligence with respect to player workload and international commitments.
The decision to allow centrally contracted players to apply for three foreign leagues besides the PSL is a big change from the past. Earlier, the board used to squeeze the number of leagues the players could get into contracts which led to many issues between the league organisers, players and the board.
The PCB said the Chief Executive of the board will be the final approving authority for issuing or rejecting NOCs.
The PCB also said that domestic players contracted by their cricket associations will be required to directly approach their respective associations for any NOC approvals in the first instance.
“Input and feedback will then be sought from the cricket operations department, before moving to the last stage of approval process,” the board said.
The board has also made it mandatory for those domestic players who don’t mature in red-ball cricket but are white-ball regulars, to commit themselves to domestic 50-over and 20-over competitions in order to be eligible for NOCs.
This requirement comes after the decision by several Pakistani players including Muhammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz and Muhammad Aamir to stop playing red-ball cricket and focus on white-ball cricket only.
Malik in fact is now retired from all International cricket except the T20 format.
The board also said that as per ICC regulations, both inactive and retired cricketers will require NOCs from PCB for ICC approved events.
PCB CEO, Wasim Khan said the new NOC policy was flexible, balanced and comprehensive which addresses many of the likely scenarios the board will face.
“We have given primacy and importance to player workload, international and domestic commitments, 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,” Khan said.