Pakistan Government Bars PCB From Selling PSL, International Media Rights

Pakistan’s caretaker government has stopped the PCB from selling media rights of international matches and the Pakistan Super League, forcing the Cricket Management Committee (CMC) head Zaka Ashraf to postpone his planned visit to Australia and seek a meeting with Prime Minister Anwar ul Haq Kakaar, who is also the chief patron of the board. The government’s directive came just as the CMC, managing the affairs of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), had started the process of inviting bids for the sale of PSL and international cricket media rights.

“The government’s Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (sports) has issued a notification to the board making it clear that from now on, the CMC/PCB has to seek permission from the government before signing any major deal,” a reliable source said on Sunday.

He added the notification had even led Ashraf to postpone his planned visit to Australia and seek a meeting with caretaker Prime Minister, Anwar ul Haq Kakaar.

The government’s notification, mandating approval for every major decision by the board, is seen as a vote of no-confidence against the CMC, headed by Ashraf.

Ashraf, who took over as CMC head in July, was given a three-month extension in November, which ends on February 4.

The primary mandate given to the CMC was to hold the regional associations’ elections and form a board of governors to elect a new PCB chairman.

The notification restricts the PCB to just day-to-day functions. The PCB is expecting to earn around 8-9 billion rupees from the sale of PSL and international media rights for home matches, and the delay in negotiations is a matter of concern.

The source said that the notification had already resulted in the suspension of approvals of 7-8 tenders related to the league’s operations.

He added that the uncertainty had also raised concerns that the board might not be able to sell the media rights at “good rates”.

The development has also prevented the release of the PSL 9 schedule, as the PCB insists it can only be finalised after the successful sale of media rights.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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