PCB defend timing of domestic T20 contest

The Pakistan Cricket Board have defended the timing of their new domestic T20 competition, saying the event gives the Pakistan players enough time to prepare for the UAE series against Australia next month.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and coach Waqar Younis were reportedly annoyed by the tournament’s placement, which does not allow the national players time to go to the UAE early to prepare for the Aussies.

They, according to Cricinfo, met with the PCB last week to discuss the matter, but were told that the national players had to be part of the event to appease sponsors, and that it was good enough preparation.

A PCB spokesman said: “Why not have the T20 cup, it is a perfect way to give players practice and after all they are playing competitive cricket here, that is giving them the preparation.

“We recently announced the captains and the team will be announced soon as well.

“There are so many factors that play a part, as the PCB wanted to start the domestic season on a good note instead giving it a dull start.

“Sponsors are obviously important for the game of cricket these days, they are major source of income and their involvement is obvious.”

An unnamed Pakistan player had apparently told Cricinfo: “See we lost to Sri Lanka and rather than working on our problems we are standing around.

“This isn’t the best way to prepare as these upcoming series in the UAE are the only opportunity to give our player ample practice for the World Cup.

“Playing against Australia is never easy. I am afraid with such a short time we will remain under-prepared to take on Australia.”