Karachi: Several former Pakistan international players formally announced their retirements from international cricket on Wednesday after the Pakistan Cricket Board declined to issue them NOCs to play in the lucrative Masters Champions League (MCL) in Dubai from January 28th. (Masters Champions League Cricket Off to Gala Start)
Former Pakistan players Rana Naved, Humayun Farhat and Muhammad Khalil met with the PCB’s COO Subhan Ahmad and submitted their retirements in writing to pave the way for them to play in the MCL. (Sourav Ganguly Named Captain of Libra Legends in Masters Champions League)
An hour later, Test batsman Yasir Hameed also announced his formal retirement. (Virender Sehwag to Captain Gemini Arabians in Masters Champions League)
The situation arose after several Pakistani players including Muhammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Farhat, Taufiq Umar, Rana, Humayun and Khalil approached the board for NOCs to take part in the MCL. (Paul Collingwood Made Skipper of Capricorn Commanders in Masters Champions League)
The board said in a statement that it will issue NOCs only to those cricketers who have announced and confirmed their irrevocable resignation and retirement from international cricket on behalf of Pakistan in writing to PCB.
“Such cricketers will, however, remain eligible to play in domestic cricket as per rules,” the PCB said.
Clash between MCL and PSL
The PCB in its release also admitted that it considered the MCL as a competition for its inaugural Pakistan Super League also scheduled to be held in the UAE from February 4.
The admission was clear in the release which said: “It may be noted that the Masters Champions League (MCL) comprising retired cricketers is scheduled to take place in UAE next month, during the same dates and at the same venues as the Pakistan Super League (PSL). For this reason, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formulated a Policy to govern the participation of Pakistani Players in the MCL.
“Keeping in view this direct clash in dates and venues and the resulting consequence that any Pakistani players featuring in the MCL pose a direct competition to the PSL and the PCB, as such its policy did not allow for NOCs to be issued freely to Pakistani players wishing to participate in the MCL and instead a criteria was put in place,” the release said.
Former captain Muhammad Yousuf was adamant that the board’s policy instead of facilitating the players was only making life difficult for them.
“Everyone knows we are retired now and yet we can’t go and earn some money from playing in a league of former stars,” Yousuf said.
“If they want us to announce our retirements we will do it but we can’t waste an opportunity to earn good money at this stage.”
With exception of Yousuf and Razzaq all the other players are still active on the domestic circuit.