LAHORE: Locked in a financial dispute over the organisation of the ongoing HBL Pakistan Super League 6 in Abu Dhabi, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) are trying to solve it amicably, it is learnt.
The HBL PSL 6 was abruptly shifted to Abu Dhabi from Karachi on May 19 with a proposed plan to resume the league in the Emirates from June 1.
However, due to a number of problems in making the arrangements related to the issuance of visas, travelling plans for players and officials numbering around 400, the UAE government could not issue visas to many well in time, particularly Indians and South Africans, who were involved in the broadcasting of PSL 6 matches.
As some Pakistan players also received visas after delays, the plan to assemble all players and officials, including Indians and South Africans, in Abu Dhabi for the PSL by May 27 faltered and the league resumed on June 9.
The PCB booked two chartered flights to carry Indian crew broadcasters from Mumbai and South African players and crew from Johannesburg and one from Pakistan to bring the remaining 25 players and officials to Abu Dhabi who were issued visas in phases that caused delays.
But as the UAE government had included both India and South Africa in its red list due to the surging number of Covid-19 cases there, visas to the Indians and the South Africans were issued on a special request, which forced the PCB to cancel the chartered flights.
There are reports that the PCB has taken the stance that as the delay in the issuance of visas and clearance for arrival of the chartered flights from India and South Africa forced the PCB to cancel the flights, therefore Abu Dhabi will bear the loss.
It may be mentioned here that later all remaining PSL 6 players and officials reached Abu Dhabi via commercial flights.
According to a report, the PCB suffered a loss of around $0.5 million due to the cancellation of the chartered flights from Pakistan, South Africa and India.
On the other hand, the Abu Dhabi authorities say that they could not get adequate time as the PCB shifted the tournament to the Arab Emirate after a considerable delay.
When contacted to comment on the subject, the PCB said, “Matters and discussions/agreement between the PCB and ECB, as in the past, are confidential and cannot be discussed publicly. Furthermore, the PCB, like any other organisation, doesn’t comment on matters relating to its finances or reveal financial details relating to an event.”
Published in Dawn, EOS, June 16th, 2021