Pakistan players awaiting decision on participation in Major League Cricket

Several Pakistan players are eagerly awaiting clearance from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to participate in the inaugural season of Major League Cricket (MLC) in the United States, scheduled for July.

Imad Wasim and Azam Khan, who are not contracted with the PCB, have already reached agreements in principle to play for the Seattle Orcas, a team backed by the GMR Group, co-owners of the Delhi Capitals. Additionally, two centrally contracted players who regularly represent Pakistan in white-ball formats have been in talks with another franchise but are currently awaiting a decision from the PCB regarding the issuance of No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) for their participation in the tournament.


According to sources, MLC’s organizers have engaged in discussions with the PCB to explore the potential involvement of Pakistan players. The PCB is currently assessing the league and considering the terms and conditions under which NOCs may be granted. There have been suggestions that the PCB could request a fee of approximately USD $25,000 in exchange for issuing the NOCs. While there are concerns among league organizers about the visa process for Pakistani players, it is not seen as a major obstacle. The primary challenge to their participation lies in the nature and scheduling of Pakistan’s commitments in Sri Lanka in July. The ongoing two-Test series, part of the World Test Championship, coincides with the MLC, which is scheduled to take place from July 13 to 30 at Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas. There is speculation that the Sri Lanka series may be converted into an ODI series as preparation for the World Cup. In that case, the centrally contracted players would likely be required to represent Pakistan and thus would not be able to play in the US.

The participation of Pakistani players in MLC would be significant, as they have missed out on opportunities in other major leagues such as the IPL in the UAE and the SA20 in South Africa, both of which have substantial IPL franchise ownership. The absence of Pakistani players from these leagues was initially attributed to their busy international home season, but there were also suggestions that IPL franchise owners were hesitant to select Pakistani players due to strained political relations between India and Pakistan. Pakistani players have not featured in the IPL since its inaugural season.

Four out of the six MLC franchises have investors who own or co-own IPL teams, while Cricket Victoria and Cricket New South Wales hold stakes in the remaining two franchises.

Each MLC franchise operates with a salary cap of $1.15 million, and several prominent international players, including Quinton de Kock and Anrich Nortje, have signed deals worth up to $175,000.

In its inaugural season, each team will play only five group games, but MLC is expected to expand in the coming years.