PCB issues 'limited' NOCs to Pakistani players for BBL 13

Board allows Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, and Zaman Khan to play limited matches in Australia's flagship T20 league

Monday, December 04, 2023
Haris Rauf of Pakistan prepares to bowl during the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 cricket match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in Perth on October 27, 2022. — AFP/File

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Monday granted no-objection certificates (NOCs), allowing "limited" permission to multiple Pakistani cricketers to participate in Australia's Big Bash League (BBL-13).

The board, "considering the workload of players and the future tours programme of the national men's team", issued NOCs to Haris Rauf, Usama Mir, and Zaman Khan to play in the upcoming season of Australia's flagship league.

However, the board has only granted permission for "specific matches" and the NOCs do not apply to the entire tournament.

"This decision is in the best interests of all the stakeholders involved while balancing the importance of game time with workload management," the board's press release said.

Rauf (Melbourne Stars), a key figure in Pakistan's pace attack, has been permitted to feature in five matches. Similarly, Mir (Melbourne Stars) and Zaman Khan (Sydney Thunders) have received NOCs for five and four matches, respectively.

In a bid to balance their participation and national commitments, these NOCs have been allocated within a specific timeframe.

National cricketers have been cleared to participate in Australia's premier tournament between December 7-28.

Melbourne Stars will be relieved now after they were awaiting clearance for the participation of Rauf. They summoned England's Olly Stone to fill the gap of Rauf, who had already landed in Melbourne for the BBL.

Earlier, Stars announced the signing of recently-retired Pakistan star Imad Wasim, who will join the side as a replacement for England's Liam Dawson.

"With Liam available for the first three matches, we identified Wasim as a player who could come in and perform a role for us with his left-arm spin and lengthen our batting lineup," said Melbourne Stars General Manager Blair Crouch.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing lots of Pakistan fans in the crowd at the MCG with Imad joining his former national teammates, Usama Mir and Haris Rauf."

Melbourne Stars squad for BBL 13 comprises Scott Boland, Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Brody Couch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Dawson (England), Sam Harper, Campbell Kellaway, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Usama Mir (Pakistan), Joel Paris, Haris Rauf (Pakistan), Tom Rogers, Mark Steketee, Marcus Stoinis, Imad Wasim (Pakistan) and Beau Webster.

The BBL is scheduled to run from December 7, 2023, to January 24 next year.