PCB gives nod for IPL, says league poses no commercial threats

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Karachi, Feb 8 (UNI) While sponsorship has become an issue of disagreement between Cricket Australia (CA) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL), Pakistan has given a green signal to it's players for the lucrative league.

Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi yesterday told 'The News' that IPL does not pose any threat to the board's commercial interest.

''We have taken a long hard look at the contracts offered to our players and have also asked our lawyers to examine them. We are sure that the IPL doesn't affect our commercial interests in any manner,'' Naghmi said.

He added that the PCB was satisfied that players would be allowed to give priority to their international commitments and would be released by the league for their national duties.

''There is a clear clause in the contracts that a contracted player will be released from the league if he is needed for national duty and that suits us fine,'' he pointed out.

Pakistan's leading players including captain Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and all-rounder Shahid Afridi have been roped in by the BCCI backed IPL which is scheduled to begin on April 18 and will run for 44 days.

Pacer Umar Gul and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal have also joined the group recently. Three more players Misbah-ul-Haq, Salman Butt and Sohail Tanvir would be picked up by some of the franchise owners of the IPL.

Naghmi claimed that the Board has sent the contracts to the players and is expecting that they would sign them in the next few days.

The players will be paid hefty amounts varying from US 100,000 to 350,000 dollars for a single season.

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