PCB to delay Haris Rauf's NOC to participate in Big Bash League 2023-24
According to reports, NOC is likely to be delayed by at least December 11 four days after the BBL begins.
Pakistan Cricket Board is expected to delay the No Objection Certificate (NOC) for fast bowler Haris Rauf that will allow him to participate in the Big Bash League 2023 scheduled to begin from December 07. According to reports, NOC is likely to be delayed by at least December 11 and there’s also no further certainty on whether it will be issued immediately after that as well.
The newly appointed Pakistan team’s director of cricket, Mohammad Hafeez, is scheduled to hold a press conference ahead of their departure to Australia for a three-match Test series where he will also reportedly give an update on Rauf’s situation.
According to ESPNCricinfo, the official reason for the delay is that the PCB wants Rauf to participate in the National T20 Cup which will end on December 10. Recently, Pakistan’s new chief selector Wahab Riaz expressed his displeasure on Rauf’s decision to opt out of the upcoming three-match Test series in Australia beginning from December 14.
Riaz revealed that the speedster pulled out of the tour at the very last moment despite the Pakistan medical team giving a clean chit to his fitness. Notably, being the chief selector, Riaz holds power regarding the issuing of NOCs to players. Hence, the recent pullout from the Australia tour is likely to affect Rauf negatively.
The 30-year-old was signed as a Marquee player by Melbourne Stars assuming that he would only be unavailable to play during Pakistan's five-match T20 series in New Zealand in mid-January. However, the delaying of the NOC will also affect the league massively as Rauf has been used as a marketing tool for the BBL this year.
Cricket Australia and Melbourne Stars using Haris Rauf as a marketing tool
Notably, Cricket Australia and Melbourne Stars are targeting their domestic South Asian audience in a concerted marketing strategy having introduced "House of Rauf" Membership on sale for the first three games at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) this year and a special seating zone named ‘Haris Rauf Bay’.
Furthermore, the delay in Rauf’s NOC is also likely to raise concerns among Pakistan’s centrally contracted players. Recently, the contract negotiations between the PCB and the players didn’t go well due to the disagreement between both parties about how many foreign leagues can each player play in a year. They finally settled on two which was subjected to the issuing of an NOC from PCB to participate.