Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India batsman Yusuf Pathan will not be appearing at the Hong Kong T20 Blitz after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rescinded his No Objection Certificate (NOC).
The Kowloon Cantons announced the signing of Pathan on Saturday and were set to become the first Twenty20 franchise outside of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to secure the services of a male Indian player.
However, that has all gone up in smoke now that the BCCI have U-turned on their decision to grant him an NOC.
“Indian players have a brand name. Indian players playing in league will attract Indian viewers. It would also mean that our sponsors too want to invest in other leagues. That is why we will be not allowing any Indian players to be part of any leagues,” an unnamed BCCI official said.
BCCI’s game development manager MV Sridhar added that the event in Hong Kong was a tournament and not a league, which was one of the primary reasons why the board had backtracked.
“League would mean franchises, league would mean auctions, league would mean players being requested and paid according to their capabilities — there’s a lot of difference,” he said.
Pathan himself was looking forward to the second edition of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz and believed that it would have helped boost the popularity of the sport in Hong Kong.
“This would be a good opportunity to get into the groove before the IPL, because international cricketers — Shahid Afridi, Tymal Mills, Darren Sammy to name a few — are playing the tournament,” he had said. “I played the 50-over domestic tournaments in Bangladesh and Kenya after last year’s IPL and the people at the Hong Kong T20 event had been in touch with me for the last three months.”