The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is trying to pacify the six franchise owners of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) who have taken the board to the Lahore High Court over the financial model of the T20 event. The owners of Lahore Qalandars, Quetta Gladiators, Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United have, in a joint petition filed in the court, made it clear they had lost billions of rupees since the inception of the tournament in the absence of a viable financial model.
According to the franchisees, the financial model was tilted in favour of the PCB which had earned billions from the PSL in the last five years, even as the team owners suffered losses. At a preliminary hearing held last week, the PCB's legal team took a strong stance on the petition filed by the owners, but sources, aware of the developments, said behind the scenes efforts are being made to settle the matter out of court.
"The PCB realises the gravity of the situation as the PSL is one of its most successful brands and due to the existing economic conditions in Pakistan and globally, it would not be easy for sale of the franchises if the situation got out of control," the source said.
The main objection of the franchisees is that the PCB, despite repeated assurances, had failed to modify the financial model of the league. The judge, who will hear the matter again on Wednesday, had asked the PCB to submit a detailed reply to the petition filed by the franchise owners. "Outside channels are being used to convince the franchise owners to withdraw their petition and assurances have also been given to them that the board is willing to sit down with them and address their grievances," the source added.