PSL 2022: Ramiz Raja likely to introduce ‘IPL style auctions for PSL new season’, instead of the draft system

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) are mulling the introduction of an IPL like auction event in a bid to increase the popularity of the sport across the globe. The PSL, which is now six years old has adopted a recruitment policy, but the league has failed to live up to its expectations. Incoming PCB chief Ramiz Raja is aiming to bring in reforms but it remains to be seen how it falls in place with the current financial model.

As per ESPNCricinfo, Ramiz Raja wants franchises to be able to pick players for longer-term contracts on higher pay like in the IPL while the franchises are supportive of the idea, during a meeting this weekend. Ramiz had engaged in general talks with the franchises and reportedly proposed innovative and ambitious ideas. However, the biggest obstacle is the league’ financial model.

It is believed that four of the six founding franchises are yet to break even on their investment. The annual franchise fees range from between USD 1.1 million to USD 6.35 million (PKR 18.6 crore to PKR 107 crore), and the board makes USD 15.65 million (PKR 264 crore) every season from that, and also takes 15% from the broadcast revenue stream.

In the IPL, the original eight franchises paid fees over a ten-year period, beyond which they don’t have to pay an annual fee. In the Caribbean Premier League, the franchises have rights for 25 years. PSL franchises meanwhile have a 10-year contract, and also bear the broadcast production costs every year, while the PCB covers the ground and match officials costs.

PCB officials are thought to be worried that any change in the model of the league might catch the attention of the state’s financial oversight and regulatory authorities such as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Public Account Committee (PAC) and the Auditor General of Pakistan.

Along with the implementation of the PSL auction, Ramiz Raja and the franchises discussed the emergence of the new Kashmir Premier League (KPL). The tournament drew a full roster of domestic Pakitan players. With the National T20 Cup already in place, the KPL was simply exploiting and cannibalising the commercial space in which the PSL operates. Ramiz Raja and the franchises are expected to meet again on Monday.