In a bizare incident, nearly 20 Pakistani cricketers including top names like Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Hameed and Imran Farhat have been left stranded in Uganda over payment dispute with a T20 league orgainser. The players had gone to Kampala, Uganda to play in a T20 league after taking due permission from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). But upon landing in Kampala, they found out that the league has been abandoned after a dispute over payment issues.
After the first two days of the league were washed out, the Pakistani cricketers demanded 50 per cent of their contractual fees as committed by the Uganda Cricket Association. But the orgainsers refused to disburse the money stating that the sponsor of the league has withdrawn.
“It was then that we were told payments could not be made since the main sponsor of the league had backed out and there was no money,” one of the players told PTI from the east African nation. “We wanted to leave immediately for home but on reaching the airport we were told that since the organisers had defaulted on other payments the travel agency, which had issued tickets, had blocked all seats and we had to return to the hotel,” he said.
The player said that they had contacted the PCB and the Pakistan embassy and were now preparing to return home later on Friday. “Hopefully, we should be home by Saturday but it has been a bad experience for us. Instead of earning money, we had to spend out of our own pockets,” he added.
The PCB said in a statement on Thursday that it wasinvestigating the matter. “We had inquired about the bonafides of the league from the ICC. Only after we were advised by the ICC that the Afro T20 League has been approved by them and is being played under the umbrella of the Uganda Cricket Association, we issued NOCs to the players,” the statement said.
The PCB said the ICC had even sent them a list of players which were provided by the organisers. “We are looking into the incident which has taken place during the Afro T20 League and once complete information is received, further course of action will be advised,” it said.