PSL 2021: PCB locked in bitter financial dispute with ECB over PSL hosting in Abu Dhabi

PSL 2021: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) locked in bitter financial dispute with Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) over PSL hosting in Abu Dhabi

PSL 2021: Despite hosting playing a majority of the international matches and the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021) in the UAE, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) are locked in a bitter financial dispute. The dispute is over who should pay for the cancelled charter flights that PCB hired for players and broadcasting crew from India and South Africa.

As per reports, the PCB and the ECB are trying to resolve the financial disputes amicably. However, they are yet to reach an agreement. The problem surfaced due to UAE’s travel ban on India due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Due to the travel ban, the ECB and PCB had to get special permission from the UAE government over the landing of the charter flights from Karachi, Mumbai and Johannesburg with players and broadcast crew. But due to the travel ban, some players including former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed besides the broadcast crews received their visas late, resulting in the cancellation of the charter planes.

PCB demands that since the cancellation of flights occurred due to late clearance of visas and arrival from the UAE government, the Pakistan board is not liable to pay for the charges. Instead, ECB should bear the losses. PCB suffered half a million-dollar ($0.5 million) in losses due to the cancellation of the flights.

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However, ECB claims that the Abu Dhabi authorities could not get enough time to get clearance as the PSL 2021 Phase 2 was shifted after days of delay. Although PCB announced that the PSL 2021 would resume on June 1 with all players, officials and staff arriving in Abu Dhabi for quarantine by May 27, due to visa delays, players and some broadcast crew reached late, forcing the league to start only on June 9. Apart from that, players who missed their charter flights also had to take commercial flights and the mandatory quarantine delayed the process further.

The PCB did not want to comment on the matter. “Matters and discussions/agreement between the PCB and ECB, as in the past, are confidential and cannot be discussed publicly. Further­more, the PCB, like any other organisation, doesn’t comment on matters relating to its finances or reveal financial details relating to an event,” an official told Dawn.

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“We have confirmed that we will pick up any incremental costs that the franchises incur. We ended up with a time frame that is quite condensed. We will have to review all those contracts at the request of our sponsors, broadcasters and others. We will be getting into those negotiations very soon. But this was certainly not done for financial reasons, because financially we are actually going to lose out. This was done because we felt that it was important for the credibility of HBL PSL and the country that we complete the competition in the window that we have,” PCB CEO Wasim Khan told Cricbuzz in an interview.