Usman Iqbal Wahla, director – international cricket at the Pakistan Cricket Board, has defended the PCB’s handling of the issuing of NOCs to cricketers hoping to play in foreign T20 leagues.

NOCs (no-objection certificates) are required to be given to both contracted and uncontracted players by the relevant country’s governing body if a player is to feature in an overseas competition. These have come under the spotlight in recent times, with Mohammad Haris, not selected for Pakistan’s T20I series in New Zealand, forced to fly home from Bangladesh after not receiving clearance to play in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).

Wahla, who wished not to comment on individual cases, nevertheless responded to those criticising the PCB’s handling of Haris’ case that the organisation had acted with “complete clarity”.

“While avoiding a comment on an individual case we didn’t tell any player or his agent to book travel without a formal approval,” he said on X (formerly Twitter). “All our CC [centrally contracted] and non CC players have been given complete clarity and are in constant communication with us.”

Responding to another journalist who suggested the decision had “shamed” Haris, Wahla said, “there is no question of shame. We had the highest ever CC increase to provide stability. As I said we are in constant communication with our players. We have issued over 100 NOC’s this season & other than during the NT20 [National T20 Cup] & 2-3 recently no one has been denied”.

Haris isn’t the only one whose participation is in doubt. While the PCB issued a release stating that some national players had been given NOCs to play in the ILT20 and the BPL, they did not clarify exactly which players had and hadn’t been allowed to travel. “The Board has issued the NOCs in line with the provisions of the players’ central contracts,” the statement said. “The decision was made in the best interests of all the stakeholders involved while balancing the importance of game time with workload management.”

PCB contracts are reported to contain a ‘two overseas leagues maximum’ clause, meaning that each player can receive, at most, two NOCs per 12-month period. Haris had already played in the Global T20 Canada and the Lanka Premier League. It is reported that several players returning from injury – Mohammad Hasnain, Ihsanullah, Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah – will have their participation in overseas T20 cricket restricted as they make their comebacks.