PCB in a fix as defaulting franchises put third PSL edition in jeopardy

LAHORE: The upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) could be jeopardised due to paucity of funds since as many as five out of the total six franchises have failed to clear their dues with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) despite the expiry of the given deadline of Nov 15, 2017.

Well informed sources told Dawn that the PCB is facing a huge financial deficit of USD 5 to 6 million required to complete the arrangements for hosting the event in the UAE and Pakistan, from Feb 22 to March 25.

Sources said a high level meeting on the issue was held at the PCB’s offices here on Friday where measures to deal with the crisis and chalking out a new strategy to overcome the financial crunch were discussed as the time is running out fast.

It was proposed that an urgent meeting of the Board of Governors should be called to take a final decision on this and suggest ways and means to save Pakistan’s most successful brand has been jeopardised due to the irresponsible behavior of the franchise owners.

Sources said that the PCB has a legal option to take over all the defaulting franchises and to sell them again through a new bidding process in the next few weeks in case the owners continue to delay the clearance of their dues.

However, sources added that such a step will be the last resort for the PCB but hopefully the franchises will not force the Board to go to that extent.

Interestingly, after the two successful editions of the PSL, the price values of the franchises have almost been doubled but still five franchises are not ready to clear their full dues.

According to the sources, two franchises are the biggest defaulters, while three have partially defaulted. The two biggest defaulters have to pay not only their annual fees but also a sum of USD 600,000 as advance for the players’ fees.

The three other defaulters, however, have paid their annual fees but they are yet to pay the players’ advance fees of USD 600,000 each.

More interestingly, one of the major defaulters has not even provided the bank’s guarantee to the PCB.

Another defaulter, however, has given the bank guarantee but it could only be cashed after Feb 15, sources further said.

According to the PCB, the first edition of the PSL earned a profit of USD 2.6million, while it has almost been doubled in 2017, the sources said.

“We have sent several reminders to the franchises to clear their dues but we are just receiving promises of new dates for the payments,” a PCB official told Dawn on condition of anonymity.

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