Players from Pakistan are awaiting permission to compete in the MLC

Azam Khan has formally decided to play for the Seattle Orcas

Several Pakistani players are awaiting word on whether they will be allowed to participate in Major League Cricket’s maiden season in the United States in July.

Imad Wasim and Azam Khan, who don’t have central contracts with the PCB, have reached deals in principle to play for Seattle Orcas, a team backed by GMR Group, the co-owners of Delhi Capitals. Seattle Orcas is a team that plays in the National Football League.

However, they are still awaiting word from the PCB on whether they will be given No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) to participate in the competition. Two further players, who are centrally contracted and regulars on the national team in both white-ball formats, have also been in talks with another franchise.

According to reports, MLC organizers have been in contact with the PCB recently to talk about the possibility of having Pakistani players participate. According to rumors, the PCB is examining the league and looking into the precise terms and conditions under which NOCs might be awarded. 

A cost of around USD $25,000 has been suggested as the PCB’s possible request in exchange for a NOC. The issue of Pakistani players receiving visas causes some concern among league organizers, although it is not thought to be a significant barrier.

The nature and actual outcome of Pakistan’s July commitment in Sri Lanka will be a more serious impediment to their future participation. The league runs from July 13–30 at Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas, and that series is currently a two-Test World Test Championship series that overlaps with MLC. 

There is talk that this series, which is serving as World Cup practice, may develop into an ODI series. If this is the case, the two players who were centrally contracted will probably not be permitted to play in the US because they would have to represent Pakistan.

Any appearance by Pakistani athletes would be noteworthy because they were excluded from the two other major leagues that were established in the UAE and South Africa, both of which had substantial IPL franchise ownership. Their ostensible absence from the ILT20 and the SA20 was brought on by a hectic home international schedule with their star players. 

Since Pakistani players haven’t participated in the IPL since the league’s first season, there were rumors at the time that IPL franchise owners were reluctant to select Pakistani players due to the country’s tense political relations with India.

Investors that own or jointly own IPL teams hold stakes in four of the six MLC franchises, while Cricket Victoria and Cricket New South Wales have ownership interests in the other two.

There is a $1.15 million pay cap for each club, and many top international athletes, including Quinton de Kock and Anrich Nortje, have signed contracts worth up to $175,000 each.

Although the MLC is expected to grow in the coming years, each team will only participate in five group games in the inaugural campaign.