The Pakistan Cricket Board has issued show-cause notices to its players participating in the minor leagues in the USA without obtaining the mandatory no-objection certificate (NOC).
The PCB has acted after Test player Fawad Alam moved to the USA to play cricket with the eventual aim of settling down in the country.
At present, several notable players — including those who have represented Pakistan on international circuit — including Sohaib Maqsood, Arshad Iqbal, Hussain Talat, Ali Shafiq, Imad Butt, Usman Shanwari, Umaid Asif, Zeeshan Ashraf, Saif Badar, Mukhtar Ahmed and Nauman Anwar are playing in the USA.
These players did not obtain PCB NOCs before heading to the USA.
Apart from Alam, the other Pakistan players in the USA leagues include Hassan Khan, Sami Aslam, Hammad Azam, Salman Arshad, Mussadiq Ahmed, Imran Khan Junior and Ali Nasir.
However, a source in the board confirmed a few players including Alam had visit visas and had informed the board before going to the USA.
A well-informed insider said some of the players, including Alam, have already applied for that category of visas which would eventually give them green cards within a year and a half, allowing them to settle down in the USA.
Alam’s father-in-law — a former Pakistan batsman — Mansoor Akhtar is also a USA national and is settled in Houston.
In the past, players like Sami Aslam, Hammad Azam, Nauman Anwar and Ramiz Raja settled in the USA and are green card holders now.
According to the rules and regulations of the USA Minor League, a player is only eligible to play as a local once he has retired from international cricket and from domestic cricket.
Players who don’t want to retire from international or home domestic seasons are only entertained as “guest” players and their teams don’t apply for green card status for them.
Initially, the US Minor League used to function as an organisation and call players to the USA on its quota of work-based visas, which eventually led to them getting green cards.
But now, the teams in the league have to directly invite players from its quota of visas.
The PCB had previously implemented a stipulation of $10,000 for procuring a NOC prior to participating in foreign leagues, but apparently the teams in the USA Minor League have been reluctant to make such a heavy payment.
“Besides the minor league, other cricket matches and tournaments are held year round especially at long weekends and players remain busy with playing and coaching. And with the launch of the USA Major League USA is now a feasible destination for some Pakistani players who are overlooked at home,” the source said.
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