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Wanted to give Pakistan a global image through PSL: Javed Afridi

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The postponement of the PSL bidding process has been deemed “unfortunate” © Getty Images

Karachi: Aug 29, 2014

The owner of Haier Pakistan, the company which had bid for the whole sale rights of the planned Pakistan Super League (PSL), has said the postponement of the bidding process and event was “unfortunate.” Javed Afridi felt that until the Pakistan Cricket Board shed aside fears of failure, it would not be possible to hold the event.

“When you start a new project you must be confident it will come through and be successful. You can’t have doubts and the same rule applies to the organisation of the PSL,” Afridi said.

The PCB postponed the PSL for the second time since last year leading to questions in the cricket circles whether this would have hit the credibility of the board. The decision to postpone the PSL came after two companies remained in the fray for the bidding process — one of them being Haier — and they had also submitted the required bank guarantees.

The owners of these two companies were told by the PCB chairman, Shaharyar Khan, during a meeting in Lahore a few days back that the PSL for the time being was off. “We only entered the bidding process for the PSL to buy rights for 15 years because we wanted to give Pakistan a global image and also because when other countries can hold their leagues why can’t we,” Afridi said.

The PCB has said it was concerned over the lack of time to complete the bidding process and organise the event and also over whether the two companies would be able to fulfil their obligations on a long-term basis. But Arid said his company was prepared to commit for 15 years. “Shaharyar Khan has given us firm commitments they plan to hold the PSL but decided to call it off for now because of shortage of time and some genuine concerns,” he said.

Afridi said the meeting with Shaharyar was very positive. “But we felt the PSL was necessary to give the world a soft image of Pakistan as we are going through difficult times. It is most unfortunate it is postponed now, it could have been held,” he added. Afridi said his company had decided to also hold premier leagues for hockey and other sports after cricket.

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