Several high-profile international cricketers have withdrawn from participating in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) due to conflicting schedules with other franchise-based tournaments and the refusal of many cricket boards to grant permission for their players to compete in domestic T20 competitions. The PSL, set to kick off in Lahore on February 17, is facing significant setbacks as numerous players opt for alternative leagues such as the Bangladesh Premier League, ILT20, and SA20.
Among the affected teams, Multan Sultans have encountered substantial player losses, with England pace bowler Reece Topley being the latest to withdraw due to injury. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed that it had not issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) for Topley's participation in the PSL.
Additionally, Pakistan fast bowler Ehsanullah will be absent from the Multan Sultans' lineup due to an ongoing recovery process following elbow surgery sustained last year during the PSL.
Other franchises, like Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators, have also suffered significant blows, losing prominent players such as Lungi Ngidi from South Africa and Wanandu Hasaranga from Sri Lanka.
A slew of cricketers from various nations, including West Indies, South Africa, England, and Afghanistan, have opted out of the entire tournament, further exacerbating the challenges faced by PSL teams.
Expressing concerns over the tournament's scheduling, a PSL franchise owner, speaking anonymously, urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to reconsider the tournament window. With the SA20 recently concluding and the ILT20 concluding on the day the PSL begins, securing marquee players has become increasingly difficult.
The owner highlighted that January and February are already congested with international cricket series, with Sri Lanka facing Afghanistan, South Africa battling New Zealand, and West Indies locking horns with Australia. Failure to adjust the PSL window, the owner warned, could result in a decline in the tournament's allure and the absence of notable overseas talents.
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