PSL 2019: With one week to go two franchisees create financial mess

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Pakistan Super League 2019 brings in a lot more hope for cricket in the terror-torn State as all concerned have agreed to play eight of the 34-matches at “home venues. However, on the franchisees and financial front all is not well for the league that has played the crucial role in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan.

With the Pakistan Super League 2019 season set to start precisely in a week from today (Thursday), at least two franchisees have reportedly not cleared their dues in spite of reminders and warnings from the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The “influential franchisees who are reportedly close to the Pakistan Government are also not responding to the emails from the PCB’, according to reports in a section of the Pakistan media.

The PSL had earlier terminated Multan Sultan’s franchisee for financial defaults.

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Pakistan media, quoting PCB sources, has reported that at least two franchises are yet to clear their dues. One of them had given a post-dated cheque. But that was not cleared sicne the franchisees account did not have insufficient funds.

The PCB reportedly was willing to file a police complaint, but it refrained following assurances and request by the franchisee.

The situation was expected to improve after Ehsan Mani has taken charge as the PCB president. The seasoned cricket administrator has served a strong warning by terminating Multan Sultan’s contract, but that has not been enough to persuade at least two other defaulters to clear their dues.

The franchisees are reported “have a strong affiliation with high-level Government officials” and the PCB is thus feeling pressure to initiate any strong action against them.

The PSL contract month has a clause which makes it mandatory for the franchisees to deposit 50% of their dues at least one month before the start of the league. However, the PCB seems helpless in dealing with the two defaulters even only one week before the tournament.

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The fourth edition of the PSL is set to kick-off from February 14 in the UAE.

The Board and the PSL organising committee will also be helpless in initiating any strict action like the termination proceedings against the “defaulters” with the league just a few days away.

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo published last Thursday, PCB’s chief finance officer Badar Manzoor Khan had sent an email to demand the dues to be cleared in a week’s time. There was not further update.

The report states that the recent email has angered the franchises, who had constituted a three-member committee to revise their existing revenue model on which the PSL was founded.

Delay in paying off the dues are also attributed to the sharp fall of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar. In the first three years of the PSL, the value of the rupee was at around PKR 105 per dollar, which has now gone up to PKR 134 now.

Teams did sign a ten-year contract in November 2015 which stated that they will make all payments in US$. However, the franchises now want to make payments according to the 2015 rate or pay in rupees.

The PSL is already crippled with one team – the sixth team – without owners and doesn’t want a similar situation to arise with the rest of the teams.

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