Pakistan fast bowler also said he expected low-scoring games in the UAE
Hasan Ali has said a change in management ahead of the T20 World Cup wasn’t ideal, though he is looking forward to working with new bowling consultant Vernon Philander. In the first public comments by a current player since the removal of Pakistan’s last coaching team of Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis, Hasan praised Waqar and “all the work I have done with him”.
“[Philander] hasn’t played much T20 cricket but no doubt he was a great bowler and brought in a lot of success for his South Africa,” Hasan told the media in a virtual session from Lahore. “He knows about bowling and I hope the work we do with him will be helpful for us. As far as Viki [Waqar] bhai is concerned, I’ve said before it shouldn’t happen that management changes before such a mega event but obviously, it’s not in our hands. I admire Waqar Younis and all the work I have done with him. I really enjoyed my time with him but unfortunately he isn’t here and we have to move on. We will move on and try to give our best.”
The duo – Misbah and Waqar – had stepped down from their positions on the same day Ramiz Raja was elected chairman. Ramiz then announced that Matthew Hayden and Philander had been roped in as batting and bowling consultants for the T20 World Cup.
Both foreign recruitments have exceptional credentials as cricketers, but little top-flight coaching experience. Philander only retired from international cricket in 2020 and had little experience of white-ball cricket. Hayden retired in 2009 and has taken on occasional media work, but his assignment with Pakistan at the World Cup is his first major coaching assignment. Ramiz explained the aggression and quality of the players hired were the main reasons they were brought in.
Hayden will join Pakistan squad in the UAE following his IPL commentary engagement while Philander has already joined the side in Lahore. The Pakistan squad will depart for Dubai on October 15 and will play two warm-up games, against West Indies and South Africa on October 18 and 20, before they begin their main campaign in a high-profile clash against India on October 24 in Dubai.
“Obviously a lot of hype has already been created about our first two games with India and New Zealand,” Hasan said when asked if he is feeling any pressure. “We don’t have any room to get complacent and we can’t afford to take these matches lightly. We will go all prepared from the first game and obviously when you go on with the win from the opening game it boosts your confidence. Pressure is there but we all are professional and we know how to deal with it.
“We have a good combination and ability to beat any team in the world. I have full faith in my team that we will give 100 per cent. I don’t claim that we will come back with the trophy because results are not in our hands. What we have in our hands is the effort we can put in and we can ensure we will give a fair fight in every game we play. I have to win games for my team no matter where I bowl or bowl with a new or old ball.”
With Pakistan having a history of playing in UAE as their second home away from home, Hasan predicted low scoring games in UAE. “Wickets in UAE have always been slow and whatever cricket we played and watched, we hardly saw 200+ runs scored in an innings. The whole world knows that these will be low scoring games and I would say if you score 160-170 it may well be a winning score.”
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent
Men’s T20 World Cup 2021
The left-arm spinner has a long association with Langer and said the coach has “100 percent” backing
Player unease about Langer and his approach ignited intense speculation about the future of the former Test opener, who is contracted until mid-2022.
Langer’s posting of a motivational message on LinkedIn made headlines this week but the issue hit its crescendo in August, when Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley publicly backed Langer to remain coach for the Twenty20 World Cup and Ashes.
Hockley, CA chairman Earl Eddings and on-field leaders Tim Paine, Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins even met to discuss “the elephant in the room”.
Langer and Australia’s T20 World Cup squad will assemble later this week ahead of their tournament-opener against South Africa on October 23.
Agar, a long-time mentee of Langer at both domestic and international level, said he and team-mates know the head coach is listening to feedback and will do “whatever he can to suit the needs of the team”.
“You can’t help but respect that and we’ll back him in 100 percent at this tournament and going forward,” Agar told reporters from the UAE. “He’s got strong values and morals as a person and he sticks to them, unwaveringly. Knowing him over 10 years, not a lot has changed.
“I respect him a lot for that. We just have to have a bit of understanding around how horrible that experience [in recent months] would have been and respect someone coming out of that and still doing their best.”
Langer said he felt like “Superman” earlier this year, having responded to player feedback and tried to clear the air prior to a T20 tour of the Caribbean.
But Australia, minus Cummins and several rested stars, suffered lopsided T20 series losses to West Indies and Bangladesh with the heat on Langer most intense while stuck in an Adelaide hotel room for a fortnight.
“All the criticism and everything that he’s copped…to be dragged through the media while you’re in quarantine, all of these different things,” Agar said. “If that happened to you or I, we would be absolutely shattered. But speaking to him recently, he’s doing really well.”
Agar is upbeat the trio, having played together in Bangladesh, could be squeezed into the same XI during the upcoming tournament.
“It’s all dependent on the surfaces that we get,” Agar said. “We’ve seen in the IPL now that the wickets are getting a little bit tired, we’ll probably get some fresh wickets for the World Cup. But it wouldn’t be really exciting.”
Pay increase for Australia’s female domestic players as part of funding boost
Meg Lanning: “Cricket has shown that when you properly invest in female sport, the results follow and everyone benefits”
Australia’s domestic female players have been given a significant pay increase on the eve of the new WBBL season with an extra A$1.2 million of funding.
That will see an additional A$800,000 invested in WNCL retainers and $A400,000 for the WBBL which relates to a 22% and 14% increase respectively for the two tournaments.
“This is another incredibly important step in driving gender equity in our game. Our players have made enormous sacrifices the last 18 months,” Nick Hockley, the Cricket Australia CEO, said. “We pride ourselves over results to really lead the charge about driving equality cricket and particularly investing in the growth as cricket as a sport for women and girls.
“There’s still a really big gap compared to their male counterparts but certainly we want to ensure to keep striving to make it an incredible full-time career. This week’s announcement is about pritoritising closing the gap and further demonstrating that we are the leading sport in terms of pay domestically across Australia women team sports and we’ll continue to invest in that way.”
The WBBL has moved to its own standalone window in the October-November period and this year will be fully broadcast on TV for the first time. Last year the Women’s T20 World Cup, the last major global event that took place before the pandemic, saw the final played in front of more than 86,000 people at the MCG.
On Sunday, Australia secured the multi-format series against India to continue their run of international success which included setting a new world record of 26 ODIs win in a row.
“The success and prominence of women’s cricket in Australia has not happened by accident,” Australia captain Meg Lanning said. “Cricket has shown that when you properly invest in female sport, the results follow and everyone benefits – the game, the fans and the players.”
The pay increase is part of A$4million of investment agreed between CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) for the season. It includes $320,000 for additional wellbeing support amid the ongoing pandemic and $250,000 to allow players to bring partners and dependents with them to help during extended periods away from home. There has also been funding allocated to education, player hardship funs and the retirement payment pool which players can access when their on-field career finishes.
“Cricket continues to lead other sports in Australia, and indeed internationally – and this is largely because of the continued investment in the game that drives professionalism,” ACA chief executive Todd Greenberg said. “The ACA has worked closely with Cricket Australia to continue to invest in the women’s game – with a focus on the domestic level – at a time when many other sports are having to curtail player payments.”
However, aside from continuing to close the gender pay gap, there remain other areas of the female game that do not replicate the men’s. There was no DRS for the recent series against India, largely attributed to logistical difficulties caused by Covid, while there has been further debate about women’s Tests being four days.
The volume of cricket for domestic players, certainly outside of the WBBL, remains an issue – state teams play just eight WNCL games in a season plus a possible final – and there are calls from within the sport to at least make it a full home-and-away tournament, but there is also a push to introduced multi-day cricket at domestic level.
“We will continue to advocate for equality in the men’s and women’s game in everything we do and in all facets of the game,” Hockley said. “We won’t rest until there is genuine parity across all elements of the game.”
The WBBL begins on October 14 with the first 20 games played in Tasmania due to border restrictions. The WNCL was due to start in September, but that has been pushed back until at least decent
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo
PSL franchises accept PCB’s offer of new financial model
This development brings to an end a long-running stand-off between the board and the franchises
The PCB and the PSL franchises have agreed on a new financial model for the league, bringing to an end a long-running stand-off which, at times, has threatened the existence of the league as it stands. The PCB had presented a final offer of a new model at last month’s PSL governing council meeting, which included giving the six franchises a greater share of the central revenue pool, financial relief for the Covid-hit seasons five and six, as well as fixing a USD dollar-Pakistan rupee exchange rate for all future payments.
After a few meetings among themselves, the franchises have accepted the offer.
“The longstanding matters between the PCB and the franchises were causing distraction and affecting the reputation of the brand,” Ramiz Raja, the PCB chairman, said. “I am delighted that all matters have finally been resolved, which is a big step forward in building a stronger relationship with the franchise owners as we look forward to working with them to take the HBL PSL to greater and unprecedented heights.”
The main changes to the model include:
Increased share of Central Pool of Revenue
In the new model, all franchises will get 95% of revenue generated from all revenue streams including broadcasting rights, sponsorship rights and gate receipts from the seventh edition onward. For PSL 5 and 6, the PCB will share 98% of the central pool revenue as an additional relief in view of the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted both seasons. In previous years, the revenue shared varied between 85% and 90%.
The franchises wanted the PCB to give them rights in perpetuity but that is not part of the new model. As per the original contract franchises will have to pay an increased franchise fee [existing fee + 25% or 25% of market value of the franchise, whichever is higher].
Dollar rate fixed from date of signing
One of the key points of contention has been the exchange rate of the US dollar against the franchise fee. The price of franchises when they were auctioned was set in US dollars. In 2015, when the first five franchises came on board, the rate was PKR 105 to a dollar. Currently, the rate of a US dollar hovers above PKR 170. The agreed offer means the PCB will peg the US dollar to the day the new agreement is signed. International players will continue to be paid in USD.
Franchise fee payments
In its new, final offer, the PCB has revised the franchise fee payment schedule and done away with the practice of paying player fees themselves and adjusting that amount from when they pay out from the central pool revenue. In this new model, the board is asking franchises to pay 50% of player fees in advance. The condition of putting forth a bank guarantee against the franchise fee has also been removed. The new payment structure will see franchises deposit 50% of the franchise fee two months before the start of the PSL, a further 25% one day before the start first match and the remaining 25% the day before the final match. If a franchise fails to keep to this schedule, a bank guarantee three months in advance will be reinstated for that particular franchise.
More money for high-profile players
In a bid to attract foreign players, the PCB offered a lucrative package offering them more money out of the available purse. If annual net broadcast revenues (including live streams) exceed PKR 3 billion, any additional revenue of up to USD 0.5 million* will be used exclusively to procure elite players from the world. Presently top players at the PSL earn about USD 180,000 to 200,000. The new, higher amount paid to elite players will be over and above the agreed player cap agreed with the franchises. Thereafter, any amount in excess of USD 0.5 million will be shared 80:20 between the PCB and the franchises.
No more franchises till PSL 10
The PSL initially started in 2015 with five teams while the sixth team – Multan Sultans – was introduced in 2017. But the PCB terminated the eight-year ownership rights after the franchise failed to pay their annual fee of USD 5.2 million. PCB repossessed the ownership rights, and resold it to another owner for USD 6.35 million. But any further franchise will not be launched till the tenth edition of the PSL.
*0630 Oct 12, 2021 The amount has been corrected. The earlier version said USD 5 million.
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