Dubai: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are in a race against time to find the new broadcast partners for the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL).
The telecast of the league plunged into uncertainty on Sunday with IMG Reliance pulling out as broadcast partners of the league over the Pulwama terror attack, which killed over 40 CRPF paramilitary troopers in Jammu and Kashmir.
PCB has confirmed that IMG Reliance will not live produce matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 after Sunday’s matches in Dubai.
The league, which commenced on February 14 at the Dubai International stadium, resumes from Wednesday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium after a two-day break.
It is learnt that PCB has approached a few companies who had earlier broadcast their events, and a new deal is going to be signed soon.
“We have been informed by IMG Reliance that they will be unable to partner with us for the remaining HBL PSL 2019 and PCB has reserved all its rights. The PCB always had a contingency plan in place, and we are confident we will be in a position to announce the new partner on Monday after the completion of the formalities,” PCB’s managing director Wasim Khan said.
Following the sudden reaction in the midst of the tournament, Khan said: “The PCB has also noted the recent turn of events and expresses its extreme disappointment as we have always believed and emphasised that sport and politics should be kept separate. History tells us that sports, particularly cricket, have always played a key role in building bridges between people and countries. Unfortunately, denying India cricket fans the right to follow HBL PSL by blocking all digital coverage as well as covering or removing portrait of former Pakistan cricket captain and Prime Minister Imran Khan and other legendary cricketers from one of the most historic cricket clubs and venues are highly regrettable actions.”
The PCB also said that they will take up these incidents with the BCCI and the ICC at the upcoming ICC committee meeting in Dubai later this month. DSport, the television channel showing the PSL in India, also stopped its coverage from Sunday.
Pakistan and India only play each other in multi-nation tournaments (the last time they met was in the Asian Cup in the UAE) and are scheduled to meet in the World Cup in England, starting on June 15. There have been calls in India urging the national team to skip the match against Pakistan.