Pakistan cricketers unhappy with Wahab Riaz for not issuing NOCs to play in foreign leagues

All-rounder Imad Wasim has said to have decided to end his international career because of the tension

By PTI

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sun 26 Nov 2023, 4:24 PM

Several Pakistani cricketers are reportedly unhappy with PCB chief selector Wahab Riaz for delaying the issuance of NOCs to players to compete in foreign leagues, such as the Big Bash League in Australia, leading to tension between the two sides.

Sources close to the players said that all-rounder Imad Wasim had decided to end his international career because of the tension prevailing between the chief selector and the cricketers over the issuance of NOCs.

Wasim had announced his retirement on Friday, bringing curtains to his eight-year international career.

"(Chief selector) Wahab has made it clear to all centrally-contracted players that their first priority is to play for Pakistan and also insisted that anyone wanting to be considered for selection to the national team has to make appearances in domestic cricket," a source said.

He added that Wasim decided to retire as he had contracts lined up for lucrative T10 and T20 leagues in the UAE, Australia and South Africa.

"Imad and some other players are yet to be issued NOCs for the T10 league in Abu Dhabi while the board has also not taken a decision on issuing NOCs for the Big Bash in Australia," he added.

PCB chief Zaka Ashraf had recently told the media that the PCB had decided as a policy that centrally-contracted players would be given permission to play in only one league apart from the Pakistan Super League.

Zaka has attributed Pakistan's poor performance in the recently-concluded World Cup in India to his predecessor's decision to issue NOCs to several members of the squad to play in different leagues before the Asia Cup.

Pakistan failed to make it to the World Cup knockout round after losing five of the nine matches.

Wahab, who until recently was active on the franchise cricket circuit and has said he will play in next year's PSL as well, has made it clear that centrally-contracted players must find a balance between national duty and franchise-based leagues, as the PCB wants them fit for different assignments.

Some of the players are not happy with the strong stand taken by Wahab and Zaka and are anxiously waiting for NOCs for the upcoming leagues.

Haris Rauf, who pulled out of the race for selection for the three-Test series in Australia, and some other players have already entered into agreements to play in the T10 league and Big Bash.

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