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PCB allows Afridi, Ajmal and Akmal to play Big Bash League

Karachi, Nov 20 (): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday has allowed Saeed Ajmal, Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi to participate in the Australian Big Bash League (BBL), following a call from Australian cricket authorities.

Cricket Australia demanded them to play as Afridi, Akmal and Ajmal had already signed the contracts and they should respect their commitments given by them to the Big Bash League. The players also feared they would not be invited to play in future if they were not permitted to fulfil their commitments this season.

A PCB spokesman said, “We have reviewed our decision, following the request of the authorities of Cricket Australia, as the players had already signed their contract”.

He further said that they would then leave towards the end of T20 tournament of Pakistan, which starts on December 2 and continues till December 10, and the players will return when their conditioning camp starts. The BBL begins on Dec 7.

The training camp is scheduled for the India tour to Pakistan, which features three one-day internationals and two Twenty 20 matches between Dec 25 and Jan 6.

Afridi will be the player of Sydney Thunder while Umar had signed for Sydney Sixers and Ajmal will play for Adelaide Strikers. Earlier, PCB had refused permission to these three players to play in the Big Bash League insisting them to prepare under home team for the emotionally anticipated India tour.

But, few sources say all-rounder Shahid Afridi has terminated his contract with Sydney Thunder of the Australian Big Bash despite being cleared by the Pakistani Cricket Board to play in the Twenty20 league.

Reports confirm that Afridi insisted that he would play rather in the domestic league match of Pakistan as he struggles to recollect the form that made him one cricket’s best all-rounders in limited overs but which has deserted him in recent times.