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Top Pakistan players left stranded in Uganda after T20 League payment dispute

Upon landing in Kampala, the cricketers were left high and dry on learning that the T20 league had been abandoned after a dispute over payment issues.

Written by: Brett Ellis, New Delhi [ Updated: December 22, 2017 14:33 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES A file image of Saeed Ajmal.

In a freak incident, about 20 top Pakistan cricketers including names such as Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Hameed and Imran Farhat were left stranded in Uganda due to a payment dispute with the T20 league organiser. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had given the players a green signal to travel to Kampala, Uganda to participate in a T20 league. Here's when things turned sour. Upon landing in Kampala, the cricketers shockingly learnt that the league had been abandoned after a dispute had occurred over payment issues. The players were left high and dry were extremely livid with the matter.

After the first two days of the T20 league being washed out, the Pakistan players had demanded about 50 percent of their contractual fees as committed by the Uganda Cricket Association (UCG). If being stranded wasn't enough with no play going on, the organisers reluctantly refused to disburse the money stating that the sponsors of the T20 league had withdrawn.

"It was then that we were told payments could not be made since the main sponsor of the league had backed out and there was no money," one of the players told PTI from Kampala.

"We wanted to leave immediately for home but on reaching the airport we were told that since the organisers had defaulted on other payments the travel agency, which had issued tickets, had blocked all seats and we had to return to the hotel," he said. 

The cricketers had contacted the PCB and the Pakistan Embassy and were preparing to return home later today. It was Saeed Ajmal who uploaded a post on twitter stating that they are safe and are ready to head back home.

"Hopefully, we should be home by Saturday but it has been a bad experience for us. Instead of earning money, we had to spend out of our own pockets," he added.

The PCB had released a statement on Thursday that they were investigating the matter.

"We had inquired about the bonafides of the league from the ICC. Only after we were advised by the ICC that the Afro T20 League has been approved by them and is being played under the umbrella of the Uganda Cricket Association, we issued NOCs to the players," the statement said.

The PCB also stated that the ICC had sent them a list of players which were provided by the T20 league organisers.

"We are looking into the incident which has taken place during the Afro T20 League and once complete information is received, further course of action will be advised," it said.

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