PCB continues to play hide and seek on new PSL financial model

Updated 30 Oct 2020

Email

A view of the PCB building in Lahore. — AFP/File
A view of the PCB building in Lahore. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), it seems, is hushing up the affairs of HBL Pakistan Super League, as it continues to avoid responding to media queries over the affairs of the League, the country’s flagship Twenty20 event.

Second time in a month’s time, neither the PCB media department nor the marketing department was ready to answer the queries of the media as the affairs between the PCB and the six franchises continue to become increasingly ‘fishy’ day by day, threatening to spoil the image of PSL.

Last time, a meeting of the six franchises with PCB officials was held after which a brief press release was issued on the subject. When Dawn contacted PCB director media head Samiul Hasan, he said that as he did not attend that meeting the media should directly put the queries to PCB marketing head Shoaib Naveed.

On Thursday, another meeting between the owners of PSL franchises and the PCB was held in Lahore -- and was yet again followed by a few-worded press release giving no appropriate details on the subject.

The press release issued by the PCB on Thursday’s meeting read: “The PCB and franchisees continue to progress on the matters positively.

Interestingly, again Sami instead of responding to different queries of media retained his previous stance.

Regrettably, it appears that the PCB media department, which has been following the practice of providing long stories even on minor achievements of the Board to the media, is not willing to perform on professional lines when it comes to sharing the affairs of PSL franchises.

While Sami has totally ignored his professional duty of providing the right and timely information to the media, Shoaib is also not interested in taking questions raised by the media -- a scenario which speaks volumes of the professionalism level of a corporate body like the PCB.

The press release on Thursday did not even mention whether PCB chairman Ehsan Mani or chief executive Wasim Khan presided over the meeting.

It is however learnt that the meeting was held online via Zoom and both Ehsan and Wasim attended it.

“An open, honest and amicable discussion took place; a presentation was made to the franchise owners by the PCB around the future business models. The franchisees will now digest and discuss the options presented and revert.

“All parties are working towards a quick resolution. In the meantime, plans for the upcoming HBL PSL competitions remain in full swing,” the press release concluded.

It may be mentioned here that the press release was issued while the franchises and the PCB have been at loggerheads over the fresh financial model of PSL during the last three years.

The franchises claim that they are facing losses while the PCB is in profit. This unwanted scenario between the Board and the franchises, one fears, could also damage the otherwise good image of PSL in world cricket, which the league has earned since its inception in 2016.

Needless to say, this bizarre attitude of the PCB media department at a time when the Board is going to hold four remaining matches of PSL 5 after just 16 days, may well go against the interest of the league.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2020