PCB to challenge IPL's proposed extended window at next ICC meet

With the Indian Premier League (IPL) potentially getting a two-and-a-half-month window in the next International Cricket Council (ICC) Future Tours Programme (FTP), the PCB will raise the issue at the ICC AGM in July.

There has been no announcement from the ICC about the window, and it is unlikely to be one given it is a domestic league. And the FTP for the next eight-year cycle has not yet been finalized but BCCI secretary Jay Shah said recently that a window for the new 10-team tournament will make sure "all the top international cricketers can participate".

That will not include Pakistan players - Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are one and two in the ICC T20I batting rankings - as it hasn’t done for every IPL season other than the first. That is mostly due to poor political relations between the two countries, as a result of which the IPL window arguably impacts Pakistan s international season more than other members.

"There hasn t been any announcement on increasing the [IPL] window," Ramiz Raja, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, said during a press conference in Lahore after the PCB’s 69th board of governors (BoG) meet. "I have views on it which we ll raise at the ICC platform in the July meeting."

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. 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."

Ramiz has reportedly 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. 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 realized Pakistan’s team and fans deserve such a world-class event."

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