Najam Sethi-led PCB recall players from CPL, County ahead of World XI series
Owing to the change in schedule of the ICC World XI series in Pakistan, the PCB has asked players to return home from the Caribbean Premier League and the County Championship in Englandcricket Updated: Aug 12, 2017 14:03 IST
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recalled all its cricketers currently involved in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), as well as the County Championship in England, as it gears up to organise a home series between the national side and an ICC World XI in mid-September.
The call taken by Najam Sethi-led PCB is due to the rescheduling of the World XI’s tour of Pakistan, the cricket board announced in a press release on Friday.
“Owing to the late finalisation and rescheduling of the ICC World XI series to be played mid-September, the PCB has been obliged to schedule its National T20 Cup to start end August and finish before the World series so that its national team can leave for UAE to play Sri Lanka starting 24th September,” PCB said in the release.
“This has compelled PCB to call back centrally contracted players besides the ones in contention for selection for the World XI series next month from their ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and English county stints.”
The release added, “The centrally contracted players were given permission for participation in the CPL and English county season subject to recall if the World XI series took place mid-September, they are now being recalled owing to the changes in schedule brought about due to the change in the original World XI tour of Pakistan plan.”
In order to consolidate measures to ensure the return of international cricket in Pakistan, ICC had confirmed sending a World XI for a three-match T20 series to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The decision on this was taken during ICC’s annual meeting in June this year.
According to the release, the series was set to conclude in the final week of September, but constituency elections slated for September 17 and Pakistan’s upcoming series against Sri Lanka in UAE starting September 24 forced the ICC to change the dates of the World XI series.
“The series has been brought forward to mid-September instead of last week of September because the Punjab Government wants it to be held before the NA120 election on September 17. It can’t be held after September 17 because there is no time to both hold the series and also give national coach Mickey Arthur time for training the team before the series starts with Sri Lanka on September 24,” the release said.
Pakistani cricketers will now report to Arthur on August 22 and will undergo a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy, followed by a pre-series training camp.
No international cricket team barring Zimbabwe has toured Pakistan ever since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in 2009. Under heavy security arrangements, Zimbabwe had concluded their limited-overs tour of Pakistan in May 2015, losing all their matches played at the Gaddafi Stadium.