The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is trying to pacify the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) franchise owners. They have taken the board to the Lahore High Court over the financial model of the T20 event. The owners include Lahore Qalandars, Quetta Gladiators, Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, and Islamabad United. The owners in a joint petition filed in the court stated that they have lost billions of rupees since the inception of the tournament. This is because of the absence of a viable financial model.
Why PSL franchise owners are filing a petition against PCB?
According to the franchise owners, the financial model was in favor of the PCB. The PCB had earned billions from the PSL in the last five years. This was even as the team owners suffered losses. At a preliminary hearing held last week, the PCB’s legal team took a strong stance on the petition filed by the owners. But according to the sources, who are aware of the developments, behind the scene efforts are being made to settle the matter out of court.
According to a source, the PCB realizes the gravity of the situation as PSL is one of its most successful brands. And due to the existing economic conditions in Pakistan and globally due to the pandemic, it would not be easy for sale of the franchises if the situation got out of control. The main objection of the franchise owners is that the PCB, despite repeated assurances, had been unsuccessful in modifying the financial model of the league.
The effort to address grievances outside the Court
The judge will be hearing the matter again this week. The judge has asked the PCB to submit a detailed reply to the petition filed by the franchise owners. The source further added that outside channels are being used to convince the franchise owners to withdraw their petition. Also, assurances have been given to the owners that the board is willing to sit down with them and address their grievances.
The PSL came into being in September 2015. And the inaugural of the league took place a year later in 2016. Instead of operating as an association of independently owned teams, the league is a single entity. Investors own and control each of the franchises. During February and March of every year, six teams representing six different cities in Pakistan play against each other in the T20 cricket league. Each team plays matches in a double round-robin format. The top four teams with the best record qualify for the playoffs. And then end up in the championship game, the PSL Cup Final.