PCB version of IPL draws sponsors

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/c/cricgen3.jpg' class='caption'> Two international companies will send their representatives to Karachi on June 19 to discuss the modalities of sponsorship for the Pak's version of IPL.

Updated: June 06, 2008 16:45 IST
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Two international companies will send their representatives to Karachi on June 19 to discuss the modalities of sponsorship and support for the Pakistan's version of Indian Premier League to be held next year.

"Two international companies will send their delegation to Pakistan on June 19 to discuss sponsorship," Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf said.

The PCB chief said the Board is receiving positive response from international companies who are eager to sponsor PCB's version of IPL.

"It is clear that there is a market for Twenty20 cricket in Pakistan with the way the people responded to the two domestic events held so far by the Board. In the PPL we are talking about international exposure for our players and good money as well," he said.

Inspired by the IPL's massive success, the PCB has expressed its desire to be the first to follow in the footsteps of the franchised Twenty20 tournament.

"The IPL has been a big success and other boards are also now thinking about launching their own version. That is why we are keen to have our league as soon as possible when the time slot and players are available," Ashraf said.

As countries are already facing a crammed international calender, Ashraf said finding a window for PPL would be the biggest challenge for the Board to ensure participation of imported players and the PCB will raise the matter in next ICC executive council meeting in Dubai.

"Given the sort of response we have got from prospective international and national sponsors the real challenge for us is not funding the PPL, but finding a suitable two weeks time slot from the hectic future tours programme next year. We need to have a time slot when 80 per cent of international players are available," he said.

Ashraf also said that PCB has decided that each team would have at least three junior players in their outfit on the lines of the inaugural IPL.

On the continued ban on players participating in the rebel Indian Cricket League, Ashraf said the policy would not change unless the ICC changes its policy on the ICL.

"Till the ICC does not recognise the ICL, our ban will remain. The players who went there were aware of the consequences," Ashraf said.

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