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The scuffle between PBC and PSL franchises’ owners can burn the league into ashes

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) landed in yet another controversy and this time it’s about the financial structure of the lucrative Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Last week, the six franchises had cumulatively filed a writ petition to push the Pakistan Cricket Board to change the financial model of the league, a long-running stipulation from the franchises. The writ petition speaks that the Pakistan Cricket Board is becoming richer and richer due to Pakistan Super League and yet it’s the franchises who are enduring the losses.

In the petition, franchises ask the court to direct the Pakistan Cricket Board to “formally redress the grievances of all franchises and to revise the model of Pakistan Super League in accordance with its statutory mandate and make it financially viable”.

On the other hand, the Pakistan Cricket Board has been offering to re-visit the model. Various extensive meeting sessions and a lot of brain storming were put in the subject. However, the matter is still on the table. The lawyers for the franchises argued in the court that “the ongoing structure and arrangement are intrinsically inequitable, and the said inequity of the model needs to be removed and replaced with a more efficient one”.

The long frustration tolerated by the franchises and the lack of answers from Pakistan Cricket Board has convinced the teams’ owners to bring the matter before a judge. The model of revenue distribution was worry-some for the franchises from the beginning of the tournament.  The franchises have several demands, from wanting tax immunity, to better distribution of spectator’s entry fee in the stadiums, to more praising exchange rate terms.

The director of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Wasim Khan, while addressing the media on the ongoing issue said “PCB understands the sensitivity of the situation as the PSL has scored itself as one of the most successful marquee. The prevailing economic conditions in the country will not allow the sale of the franchises easily. Hence, the board is attempting to resolve it outside the Courts”.

The Lahore High Court judge has asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to submit a more final and all-inclusive response to the petition. Franchise owners are furious over the board’s handling tactics. While talking to ESPN Cricinfo, one of the franchise directors said, “External necks are being used to persuade the franchise owners to withdraw their petition.  In addition, assurances have also been given to them that the board is willing to sit down with them and address their complaints.”

After years of developing the league in line with the Indian Premiere League (IPL), it’s in the hands of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to address the reservations of franchise owners, who invested in their idea when no one came to put their step forward. Otherwise, pulling money out of the league will derail the Pakistan Super League like a house of cards.

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