The Adelaide Strikers hit out at the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) for barring Saeed Ajmal from taking part in the Big Bash League and leaving the already depleted side in a lurch.
The Strikers, who also lost spinner Jon Holland and reliable all-rounder Andrew McDonald to injuries, were left in a fix after the PCB decided it wanted top Pakistani players to stay back and play in the National T20 Championship instead.
“Since the Big Bash was clashing with our Twenty20 tournament we have asked the players to feature in the national event so that selectors can check their form and fitness for the selection of the squad for India,” PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf said.
However, according to media reports earlier in the week, the selection committee had no issues with the players participating in the Australian league.
“These players need to take the PCB’s permission first but as far as selection is concerned, we can manage it without witnessing their performance in the national Twenty20,” an official was quoted as saying by a local newspaper.
South Australian Cricket Association Director of Cricket Jamie Cox told The Advertiser that the PCB event came out of nowhere.
“It’s not a tragedy but we were certainly looking forward to having Ajmal, he’s world-class. The PCB decided they’re going to run a competition of which no-one knew anything about a few days ago and that’s effectively taken precedence. That’s disappointing but at the end of the day, those are the dangers of involving ourselves in the international markets,” Cox said.
“We’ve started seeing what else might be around and if we can find a player who can make an impact for us, we’ll replace him.”
According to the Herald Sun, the Strikers need to finalise their squad of 18 by November 30, but the signing rules dictate they won't be able to find cover for McDonald and Holland until December.