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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recalled 13 players who were given No-Objection Certificates to play county cricket in England and feature in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
With the No-Objection Certificates having been revoked, players such as captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who was supposed to represent Yorkshire in five Natwest T20 Blast matches, and Mohammad Amir, who was to play for Essex until September, have all been asked to return home, where they will undergo fitness and medical tests under the supervision of head coach Mickey Arthur at the National Cricket Academy on August 22.
The reason behind the PCB’s sudden decision is attributed to the fact that Pakistan are scheduled to host a World XI next month.
The games against the World XI were originally supposed to be held in the last week of September, but should the matches be given clearance by the Pakistan government, it will take place between September 10 and 16.
“The centrally contracted players were given permission to participate in the CPL and English county season subject to recall if the World XI series took place in mid-September,” the PCB said in a statement. “So they are being recalled owing to the changes in the schedule brought about due to the change in the original plan of the World XI’s tour of Pakistan.”
Furthermore, Pakistan will be travelling to the United Arab Emirates for a full series against Sri Lanka on September 21.
With that in mind, the PCB has confirmed that the National T20 Championship will run from August 25 to September 10.
“Owing to the late finalisation and rescheduling of the ICC World XI series to be played mid-September, the PCB has been obliged to schedule its National T20 Cup to start near the end of August and finish before the World XI series so that its national team can leave for UAE to play Sri Lanka starting September 24,” the PCB explained. “This has compelled the PCB to call back centrally contracted players in contention for selection for the World XI series next month from their ongoing Caribbean Premier League and English county stints.
“The series has been brought forward to mid-September because the Punjab government wants it to be held before the NA120 election on September 17. It can’t be held after September 17 because there is no time to both hold the series and also give coach Mickey Arthur time for training his team before the series against Sri Lanka starts on September 24.
“The players have been asked to report for a pre-series fitness testing/training camp, as planned by the national team management and the National T20 tournament that starts in Multan on August 25.”
Pakistan players recalled
From the CPL: Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Babar Azam, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Tanvir, Kamran Akmal
From England: Sarfraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Amir