The PCB and Punjab government have reached an agreement that will see PSL games go ahead as scheduled in Lahore and Rawalpindi.
The PCB head Najam Sethi tweeted on Sunday, as Lahore’s first PSL game, between Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi was underway, that the board and Punjab government had agreed “to share cost of lighting routes during PSL matches in Lahore… PSL matches in Lahore and Pindi shall continue as scheduled.”
ESPNcricinfo understands that the ice breaker was PCB reaching out its patron-in chief Shahbaz Sharif, who is the prime minister of Pakistan. That brought to an end a standoff that threatened to see all of Lahore’s remaining games played in Karachi.
“I am grateful to the Chief Minister Mr Mohsin Naqvi for accepting and understanding the PCB and PSL franchisees’ position,” Sethi said.
“I am also thankful to the franchise owners for their overwhelming and unconditional support to the PCB throughout this process. We remain committed to working with the local governments and sharing with them ideas and suggestions on how they can utilise the PSL more strategically to generate revenues, like any other major sport extravaganza.”
Over the last four days, it is understood that the Punjab government was asking the PCB to pay PKR 450 million for security arrangements made by the administration. The original cost, according to the government, was PKR 900 million, but the government had revised it, sharing 50% of the cost and asking PCB to pay the rest. The board, however, was adamant against paying, insisting that the prerogative to provide security lies with the provincial government.
The dispute arose when the PCB took a strong stand against the government’s demands such as requesting additional payments, as they believed it was unprecedented. It is understood, however, that the PCB will still be paying part of the cost for buying lights for the security route, before handing them over to the Punjab government as a part of the arrangements.
As far as the nine games in Karachi are concerned, the Sindh government does not require the PCB to pay a share of the security costs, and only asks for remuneration for the security personnel’s catering. That cost is understood to be in the region of PKR 30 million, and in Punjab the cost is roughly PKR 50 million, which the PCB had already sent across.