Foreign cricketers to be offered $20,000 each by PCB to play PSL final in Lahore
Najam Sethi assures foolproof security for foreign recruits.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning to offer more money and accommodation facilities to the foreign players if they agree to play the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
The PCB had launched its domestic T20 tournament last February, which included overseas players, and after getting considerable success in the 1st edition they have scheduled the second edition for February 2017 which will be held in UAE, however, the officials want the final to be staged at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Najam Sethi, the head of PCB’s influential executive committee told reporters in Lahore that some of the foreign players have already agreed to play the final. He didn’t disclose the names of the foreign players but said he has assured them of foolproof security. “I can assure you the PSL final in Lahore will be bigger than the one held in UAE last February,“ Sethi said.
No major team has toured Pakistan since March 2009 after the militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus which left many top players badly injured. Thilan Samaraweera got the scare of his life after a bullet struck his thigh. Since then the PCB has managed to convince only minnows like Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Kenya to play in Pakistan.
The PCB has already started signing foreign recruits for the 2nd edition and recently announced the signing of big names like Brendon McCullum, Eoin Morgan, Lasith Malinga and Albie Morkel. Sethi confirmed that that the overseas players were being offered extra money to play the final in Lahore.
“We are offering them at least USD 20,000 each extra if they play the final in Lahore,” he said.
He further said that 14 new rooms with top-class facilities were being added to the National Cricket Academy which is adjacent to the Gaddafi Stadium to accommodate these top players. He said that their plan was to have accommodation for the teams at the NCA as a part of the security plan for the mega final.
Sethi also said that the success of PSL 1 has led to an injection of money into the sport at the domestic circuit too.
"There is huge interest in the PSL and as a result, money is also being offered for the domestic events," he added.
He sounded confident that the success of the inaugural PSL will lead to more sponsors and revenues for the 5 teams who are competing. The tournament could eventually turn out to be the pathway to the revival of international cricket in Pakistan.