In a major policy shift, PCB makes important announcement for Pakistani cricket players

In a major policy shift, PCB makes important announcement for Pakistani cricket players

ISLAMABAD - In a major change to the existing policy governing participation in T20 and other leagues across the world, Pakistan's cricketers will now be allowed to play four leagues, including the PSL, in a year.

Permission to play in other leagues is contingent on a number of factors, including taking part in the national one-day cup and the T20 cup.

The earlier policy, which was introduced in 2018, had restricted player participation in several leagues, but the PCB has undertaken a review of the policy for the first time.

The PCB took the board of governors into confidence to approve the new NOC guidelines for all national and domestic cricketers, in a move that is likely to prove beneficial to players who had otherwise suffered major financial blows in the last two years due to the inconsistency of the policy for featuring in foreign leagues.

Pakistan's players are already among the lowest-paid professionals link in world cricket, and aren't allowed to take part in the IPL.

The old policy had added to the uncertainty, with players often given NOCs for an entire tournament, only to be pulled out by the PCB midway to return home and either join national camps or undergo fitness tests.

That sparked frustration and discontent among the leading white-ball cricketers and emboldened them to revolt against PCB's restrictive participation policy on foreign leagues.

A meeting of several high profile players with PCB chief executive Wasim Khan link averted the threat of a players' revolt link last year when PCB had revoked NOCs for the T10 league in Abu Dhabi. Khan, however, promised to review the policy and arrive at a lasting amicable solution.

ESPNcricinfo understands that henceforth, the policy to issue an NOC will be more thorough than before, and will be based on the player's prospects for national selection, fitness and fulfilling the domestic commitments. Once NOC is handed out, it won't be revoked.

The aim is to maintain a balance between players taking part in national tournaments and their workload, while also ensuring that players don't face financial losses during a period when they are not playing any domestic cricket, particularly for the white-ball specialists.