Zaka Ashraf

Zaka Ashraf didn’t get the grand response and security assurances for the Pakistan Super League

Lahore: Mar 7, 2013

The Pakistan Cricket Board has finalised two possible slots this year for its Super League Twenty20 tournament which was due to start from March 26 but has now been indefinitely postponed.

The Pakistani cricket circles were surprised last month when the PCB postponed the PSL after unveiling its logo in a grand ceremony and setting up a special secretariat and inviting bids for sale of broadcast, title sponsorship rights and the five franchise teams.

Although the official reason given by the PCB was shortage of time to hold the event in a fitting manner but reliable sources told PTI that the decision came after the interior ministry developed cold feet on taking care of the security for the event.

“Apparently the PCB Chairman, Zaka Ashraf didn’t get the grand response and security assurances for the PSL that he was expecting from concerned government quarters after which he decided this was not the right time to hold the event,” one source said.

“The attitude of the government quarters also meant the PCB was not in a position to submit a comprehensive security plan and brief the ICC and other boards about it to get clearance for foreign players to take part in the PSL,” he added.

He said Sarwar Salman Butt, who resigned as managing director of the PSL after the postponement, and some other officials in the board were not in favour of going ahead with the league from late March.

“But the Chairman disagreed apparently also because of the fast changing political scenario in the country. Another reason was the uncertain security environment, since campaigning for the general elections will begin from March when a caretaker government is announced,” he explained.

Another source said the Chairman had now asked for a fresh window to hold the PSL and the tentative schedules given to him for consideration are either in August or before Pakistan flies to the West Indies on July 8.

“The Chairman will soon call a meeting to discuss these possible windows but the board still remains hopeful that India will eventually agree to play a series against Pakistan some time in August,” the source said.