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Disgruntled PSL franchises move LHC over differences with PCB on financial matters

Disgruntled PSL franchises move LHC over differences with PCB on financial matters

LAHORE: All the six franchises of the HBL Pakistan Super League have moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) after failing to solve the financial issues with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi of the LHC will hear the petition filed by the franchises against the PCB on Friday.

It is learnt that the franchises have complained that they are suffering losses because the PCB has not cleared its accounts of the fifth edition of PSL. Moreover, the PCB has set Sept 25 as the last date for the franchises to deposit bank guarantee for the next PSL edition.

One of the franchise owners said the PCB apathy compelled them to move the LHC, claiming the Board has been making false promises of introducing a new financial model for the last three years.

“Until the accounts of the last episode are cleared how can we manage huge amounts for bank guarantee for the next [PSL] edition?” the franchise owner asked.

It is learnt that the PCB has prepared a new financial model during its recent meetings held in Nathiagali. However, without changing Sept 25 as the last date for depositing the bank guarantee, the PCB sent a letter to the PSL franchises on Tuesday assuring a meeting with them will be convened soon by the head of the PSL department of the PCB.

But the franchises, showing no confidence in the PCB, moved the LHC, considering that if the Board was serious in a meeting (with them) it should have set the date for it before Sept 25.

They are concerned that the PCB after getting the guarantee money for the next PSL edition will again show the same attitude it has maintained for the last three years.

Meanwhile, the PCB also gave a short comment on the development stating: “The PCB is surprised to hear that the [PSL] franchisees have opted to take a legal route despite our recent invites on two separate occasions to discuss the financial model in good faith and as part of our relationship building.

“The PCB cannot comment on the exact contents of the matter as it is yet to receive any notice from the honorable court.

“We understand a hearing is set for Friday, following which we will be able to comment,” the PCB statement concluded.

There are reports that the PCB is anticipating a financial loss, despite hosting all the PSL V matches staged in Pakistan early this year.

With significant crowds having attended the 30 PSL V matches at its own stadiums in Multan, Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi where hotel accommodation and other expenses were far lower than what one finds in plushy UAE venues of Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, the PSL should yield profit.

However, it seems incurring extravagant expenses on providing security in and around the venues during the PSL matches may have cost heavily to the PCB. Thousands of policemen and other law enforcement agencies had been performing duties day and night at the above-mentioned four venues in Pakistan for PSL V matches.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2020

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