PCB Contemplates Postponing West Indies Series in 2024 to Avoid Clash with PSL and IPL 2024
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) finds itself in a tricky situation as it weighs the options of postponing the upcoming home series against West Indies, scheduled for February and March 2024. The reason behind this consideration is the clash with the next edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which has become a major event on the cricket calendar. Additionally, the PCB has reached out to the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), requesting them to adjust the dates of the ILT20 league, to avoid any overlapping schedules.
Pakistan, in accordance with the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Future Tours Programme (FTP), is set to host West Indies for two Tests and three T20Is early next year. However, since 2016, this window has also been reserved for the PSL. During the most recent PSL governing council meeting, it was agreed upon that the PCB would be willing to “sacrifice” the home series if required. As a result, the board has initiated discussions with various stakeholders in an attempt to find a suitable and dedicated window for the next edition of the PSL.
Post-Ramzan Considerations and IPL Conflict | Pakistan Cricket Team | Pak vs WI:
Should the PCB decide to conduct the West Indies series after Ramzan, which falls after the second week of April, they may encounter yet another challenge. With the Indian Premier League (IPL) scheduled for April and May, several West Indies players might not be available for the bilateral series in Pakistan.
While the PCB has not yet provided any details regarding the possible rescheduling of the series, there have been discussions exploring the option of playing the home series during the month of Ramadan, from March to April. However, playing Test matches during that period poses significant challenges due to players observing fasting. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the PCB successfully hosted a limited-overs series against New Zealand during Ramadan this year, with the five-match T20I series played at night and the five ODIs conducted after Ramadan.
PSL and ILT20 Adjustments | Pakistan Cricket Team | Pak vs WI:
The Pakistan Super League, a highly anticipated six-team tournament, currently spans over 34 days. However, due to the restrictions imposed by Ramzan, the league’s window is limited from February 12 to March 10. In light of this, the PCB has approached the UAE board, requesting a ten-day concession to accommodate the ILT20 league, which is scheduled from January 13 to February 12 in 2024.
It is possible that the PCB may even consider releasing its players to participate in the ILT20 league, which would mark a significant shift in their previous stance. In the inaugural edition of the ILT20 league, the Pakistan board had denied No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for a group of Pakistani players who sought to participate.
Expansion Plans and Roadblocks | Pakistan Cricket Team | Pak vs WI:
In addition to the scheduling challenges, the PCB is also contemplating the introduction of two new franchises in the PSL, which would naturally extend the tournament window by approximately ten days. To address concerns surrounding this expansion, the PSL and finance departments are actively formulating a proposal that focuses on the financial distribution model, scheduling, and the commercial aspect of the league. This proposal aims to convince the existing six teams to embrace the expansion plans, which have encountered a few roadblocks, particularly regarding the limited available window.
Conclusion | Pakistan Cricket Team | Pak vs WI:
The PCB finds itself at a crucial crossroads as it navigates the complexities of scheduling the upcoming West Indies series and accommodating the Pakistan Super League. With discussions underway and stakeholders engaged, the board is determined to find a viable solution that ensures both the home series and the PSL receive the attention they deserve.