The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday announced that it has approved the staging of an Afghan T20 league in the United Arab Emirates in October this year.
The announcement comes a day after ECB held negotiations with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over a clash of dates resulting from the Afghan league being staged in the UAE.
A statement released today said ECB has informed the International Cricket Council (ICC) that it has approved and supports the holding of the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) in the UAE in October.
The inaugural edition of the league, which will consist of five franchises, is scheduled to be held from October 5 to 23 and will include both Afghan and foreign players.
APL, which now remains to be sanctioned by ICC, is Afghanistan Cricket Board’s commercial T20 league launched in January this year. India-based Twenty First Century Media (TCM) will serve as the executing partner of APL.
During talks between the PCB and ECB on Tuesday, it was decided that PCB will continue to host major tournaments in the UAE and that ECB will significantly reduce the costs of holding these tournaments for PCB with immediate effect.
It was also agreed that ECB will not host any league during the time when PCB one-day and T20 international fixtures are being played in the UAE.
The issue had surfaced following the announcement that APL was scheduled to be held in October. With Pakistan scheduled to host Australia for a full series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in October as well, the PCB had feared that the Afghan league matches being staged in the same month would hit the former’s commercial interests.
A top PCB official told DawnNewsTV that the board's main concern was that no APL matches are held on the dates Pakistan's T20 and ODIs are scheduled for, although it didn't have a problem with other matches being played on the same days as Pakistan's Test matches.
The ECB has assured PCB officials that no Afghan league matches will be played on the days Pakistan will play its ODI and T20 fixtures, the official said.
Meanwhile, the PCB has decided it will not be allowing its centrally contracted players to participate in the Emirates T20 League, while the decision about Pakistani players participating in the Afghan league will be taken closer to its scheduled dates, sources said.
Pakistan has been organising its home series in the UAE since 2010 due to security-related issues in the aftermath of the terror attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March 2009.