The organizers of the International League T20 (ILT20) are thrilled about the upcoming second season of the tournament as Pakistani players have received approval from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to participate. Subhan Ahmed, the chief operating officer of ILT20, expressed his excitement about having top-quality Pakistani players in the tournament.
“The PCB’s decision to issue [no objection certificates] to its players is fantastic news for ILT20,” said Subhan Ahmed in an interview with The National. “We are eagerly anticipating the inclusion of top-notch Pakistani players in the second season, which will undoubtedly elevate the competition.”
Although the specific Pakistani players taking part in the tournament have not been confirmed yet, it is reported that Shaheen Afridi has been granted permission by the PCB to participate in ILT20 for a week. Other Pakistani players are also expected to join, depending on their availability.
Earlier this year, in June, the PCB had requested the Emirates Cricket Board to adjust the schedule of the next edition of ILT20. The tournament’s second edition is currently set to be held from January 13 to February 12, 2024. However, due to overlapping with the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the PCB had asked for a ten-day concession to accommodate its players.
In the previous edition of ILT20, held from January 13 to February 12 earlier in the year, Pakistani players were not allowed to participate, despite receiving lucrative offers from the UAE-based league. Prominent players like Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan had received substantial contracts, captaincy opportunities, and three-year deals from the ILT20 organizers. However, the PCB did not permit its players to take part in the league. The then-PCB Chairman, Ramiz Raja, had even requested compensation from the Emirates Cricket Board for the non-participation of Pakistani players.
Subhan clarified that discussions had been held with the PCB about player availability and scheduling. As long as there are no clashes in their commitments, the Pakistani players will be available for the ILT20.
“We do understand the challenges of finding an exclusive window for all players due to the packed cricket calendar,” said Subhan. “However, we are making every effort to find suitable slots to accommodate Pakistani players in ILT20.”
In conclusion, the organizers are eagerly awaiting the second season of ILT20, where Pakistani players will be participating, bringing more excitement and competition to the league.