Islamabad, Feb 15 (ANI): The resignation of the chief of Pakistan's planned new Twenty20 league, Salman Sarwar Butt has pushed the much-hyped tournament into further turmoil, making difficult efforts to bring international cricket back to the country.
No international matches have been played in Pakistan since March 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lankans during a Test match in the eastern city of Lahore, killing eight Pakistanis and wounding seven visiting players, the Daily Times reports.
The Pakistan Super League (PSL), originally due to start on March 26, was seen as a crucial step towards encouraging overseas players to return with the Pakistani board hoping they would be enticed by the promise of up to 100,000 dollars for two weeks' work, the paper said.
But last Friday the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) postponed the tournament with no indication of when it might be played, claiming the overwhelming response from players and sponsors meant they needed more time to organize, the paper reported.
On Wednesday the PSL's managing director Salman Sarwar Butt resigned, leaving plans for the tournament in shambles.
The PSL, modeled on the hugely successful Indian Premier League, was unveiled on January 10 with much fanfare, with plans for five teams playing in 23 matches over two weeks, the paper added.
It said the event would be worth more than 100 million dollars in total over five years. Coincidently, on the same day 92 people were killed in two suicide bombings in the worst-ever attack on Shiite Muslims in Pakistan, where sectarian violence has reached record levels.
The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations warned the security situation in Pakistan was unmanageable, prompting Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa to hint they might not release their players for the PSL. (ANI)