As the date for the Pakistan Super League player auction approaches, Cricket Australia (CA) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have confirmed they will not be issuing No Objection Certificates (NOC) to contracted players. The news will be a blow to the Pakistan Cricket Board, who have high hopes of using the tournament as a springboard to bring international cricket back to Pakistan.
It is no secret that participation of players from Australia and South Africa would have raised the profile of the PSL but the underlying security concerns felt by the boards have resulted in their decision to exclude their players from the auction due to be initiated on 24th February.
In a statement sent to PakPassion.net by a CSA representative, it has been cited that the security assessments did not provide the level of comfort required. "...the independent security reports will at this stage not allow CSA to provide a NOC for any player. CSA’s current agreement with SACA, our cricketers association, is that we will not send players to the PSL based on the security reports," read the statement.
The statement of CSA follows a similar pattern to that received from CA.
These decisions by the respective cricket boards may well have been influenced by the recent announcement by The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), who advised its members to avoid participation in the tournament due to the “unmanageable” security risk. The decision by FICA came after they engaged independent security consultants to assess the situation in playing cricket in Pakistan.
Haroon Lorgat, the former chief executive of the ICC and advisor to the PSL, had earlier indicated he was aware of the difficulties, but was confident the PSL will be able to surmount such obstacles. "We know what the challenges are, it's reality, but we will overcome those challenges,” he said, although acknowledging that international players are likely to heed the advice from FICA.
The official refusal of the two boards to allow participation of their contracted players will undoubtedly be a further blow to the PSL organisers and it remains to be seen which other countries will express similar opinions.
Whilst the statements from CSA and CA do not appear to put any legal restrictions on any non-contracted South African or Australian cricketers, it is yet to be seen how the PSL management will react to these or any further refusals.
(Amir Husain is Senior Editor at PakPassion.net. The above article is reproduced with permission from http://pakpassion.net/)
First Published: January 31, 2013, 1:13 pm