Lahore, 05 April 2020 – Tahir Chudhary:
The return of departmental cricket is on the cards after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Wasim Khan on Saturday hinted that the country’s cricket governing body has chalked out a plan for the 2020-21 season.
In a conversation with a leading website, Wasim said here on Saturday the decision was taken to make sure that the players stayed on the departments payroll.
“We have actually created a window for a tournament for departments in the 2020-21 season,” Wasim said.
“When we spoke to the players and departments about how we could soften the blow, one of the things that came back quite strongly was if we could create a small window for a department tournament as it would give the departments an opportunity to keep a lot of the players on their books.
“So, while scheduling the 2020-21 season, we have factored that in. The debate with the departments surround what they would like to play, I suspect it will be sort of a 50-over or a T20 competition. I am hoping that in the next six to eight weeks we will be able to finalise the details.”
“We want to utilise the skills of our players,” Wasim said. “The six associations will be running club, school and city cricket associations and for that we will need coaches and officials. We will need people at every level.
“I think there’s a bit of misconception about what players were actually earning. It was only top cricketers who were drawing decent salaries. The other players were given contracts for three months, six months or a season.”
“We are aiming to bring sponsors in before the start of the season in October so that it can cover at least 50 per cent of the costs. About Rs220 million per cricket association that includes running First XI cricket, three-day cricket, four-day cricket and everything from hotels to everything.
“We are in advanced talks with various corporations and departments to bring them on board,” Wasim stated.
Meanwhile, Wasim said that the PCB looked at every possibility to stage the last three matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020.
He said that two possible windows were identified for the PSL knockout stages to be played later this year.
“PCB’s first point is to ensure that the knockout stages of PSL 2020 can be played at some stage,” said Wasim.