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PCB mulls regulations to limit player agents as international cricketers association raises concerns

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is considering the implementation of regulations aimed at restricting player agents or companies from representing more than 2 to 3 players simultaneously.

cricket PCB mulls regulations to limit player agents as international cricketers association raises concerns osf
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First Published Dec 24, 2023, 1:36 PM IST

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is contemplating the introduction of a regulation that would restrict player agents or companies from representing more than 2 to 3 players simultaneously. The cricket management committee overseeing the board's affairs is anticipated to make a final decision on this regulation within the next few days, prompted by the recent signing of numerous Pakistani team players and officials by two different agencies.

The realization that one agent, Talha Rehmani of Saya Corporation, represented a substantial number of leading Pakistani players and officials, including figures like Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Muhammad Rizwan, led to this reconsideration. Additionally, the PCB discovered that another agency, the International Cricketers Association (ICA), currently has contracts with several players and officials currently on tour in Australia.

In response to these developments, PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has instructed the legal department to formulate new regulations for scrutinizing agents and companies before they sign players and officials. The proposed regulations also aim to limit the number of clients an agent or company can have within the realm of Pakistan cricket.

The ICA reportedly boasts a clientele that includes Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imam ul Haq, Saim Ayub, Muhammad Haris, Naseem Shah, Abdullah Shafique, Usama Mir, Aamer Jamal, and Muhammad Hasnain. Notably, even the Pakistan team director, Muhammad Hafeez, was associated with ICA until recently. Although Hafeez has since resigned, it has come to light that several other key figures within the team structure, such as Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Adam Hollioake, and Kamran Akmal, are also part of the ICA clientele.

Zaka Ashraf, in various interviews, has expressed concerns about the undue influence that an agent or company holding sway over numerous players can have on team selection and affairs. In a leaked audio conversation, he revealed an incident where the PCB offered Babar Azam only the Test captaincy after the ODI World Cup, but his agent, Talha Rehman, advised him to relinquish the captaincy in all three formats.

Acknowledging the potential power and influence wielded by such agents, the PCB is actively addressing the issue, mindful of the impact it could have on team dynamics. The board had earlier accepted the resignation of Inzamam ul Haq as chief selector amid reports that he had an ownership stake in a sports marketing company with Rizwan and Rehmani as his partners. While an inquiry was initiated to investigate the potential conflict of interest, it was ultimately discontinued after the board accepted Inzamam's resignation.

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