The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who are feeling “short-changed” by the Indian Premier League (IPL) potentially getting a two-and-a-half-month window in the next ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP), will raise the issue and challenge the development at the upcoming ICC AGM, scheduled to be held in July.
The IPL is now ten-team tournament after two new teams — Lucknow Super Giants and winners Gujarat Titans — were added in the 2022 edition and as a result, the number of matches also got increased from 60 to 74. The increase in matches also led to an extension of the duration of the league from 50-odd days to over two months.
In the bid document for the IPL’s recent media-rights auction, the BCCI had also said the number of matches in the IPL could go up to 84 in 2025 and 2026, and up to 94 in 2027.
But, PCB’s comments came after BCCI secretary Jay Shah’s recent remark that the Indian board will be getting an extended window for the IPL in the ICC’s next FTP cycle, which will make sure “all the top international cricketers can participate”.
However, there has been no announcement from the ICC about the window and the FTP for the next eight-year cycle has not yet been finalised.
Notably, the Indian Premier League (IPL) doesn’t allow Pakistan players to take part except in the first season of the league in 2008 due to poor political relations between the two countries. As a result, the IPL window arguably impacts Pakistan’s international season more than other members.
“There hasn’t been any announcement on increasing the IPL window. I have views on it which we’ll raise at the ICC platform in the July meeting,” said Ramiz Raja, the PCB chairman, during a press conference on Friday.
Ramiz also said that his quadrangular T20 Super Series idea — which was passed on by the ICC board meeting in April — was not dead yet.
“My four-nations concept is not yet dead. The media seems to have got the impression that it has been shelved. That’s not true. They were bundling rights for World Cup events, so they said if they announced another property, then all investors would start chasing this,” he said.
“This would become a new challenge, so they thought it better not to introduce it yet. But this will be the only cricket board that will challenge any platform where it believes Pakistan is being short-changed. When we get this development [of the IPL window expanding] formally, we will put across our views in a robust manner,” he added.
The PCB chief has been in touch with the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly about cricketing ties but acknowledged that the situation was beyond them.
“I’ve spoken on the sidelines to Sourav Ganguly, and I told him now three former cricketers including Martin Snedden are on the ICC board. I said if even we can’t bring about change, then what’s the point? He invited me to the IPL twice, once in Dubai and once this time. I was torn over it. I thought if I went, the fans wouldn’t forgive me, even though it perhaps made cricketing sense to go,” he said.
“But there are issues right now which will take time to resolve because this is a political game. If it was a cricketing issue, we’d sort it out in two minutes. But we did get the Champions Trophy 2025, so we did break the influence to some extent. And people realised Pakistan’s team and fans deserve such a world-class event,” he concluded.