After hogging the limelight recently for the reason of allegedly not making himself available for Pakistan's Test tour of Australia, pacer Haris Rauf's appearance in Australia's biggest T20 spectacle, the Big Bash League (BBL) is going to get slightly delayed than expected.
As per reports, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is yet to issue its speed merchant the No Objection Certificate (NOC) to participate in the BBL. Rauf is currently representing Islamabad in the ongoing National T20 Cup and is expected to be available until December 10 when the tournament culminates. Hence, the apex cricketing governing body of Pakistan is yet to provide the 30-year-old speed merchant with his NOC.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Stars, the franchise that Rauf plays for in the BBL are set to get adversely affected by Rauf's delayed arrival to the tournament. Rauf is Stars' marquee player and the team used Rauf's name predominantly to appeal to its Asian fans. Therefore, Rauf's absence for the initial phase of the season is going to impact their popularity and also their pace bowling prowess.
Notably, last week, PCB's newly-appointed chief selector Wahab Riaz claimed that Rauf didn't make himself available for Pakistan's Test tour of Australia after agreeing to it initially.
The chief selector mentioned that Rauf was assured that he wouldn't be put under unnecessary pressure to perform during the three-match Test series and that his workload would be managed well too.
"Our physio spoke to him and said he wouldn't expect any issue or injury. Of course, there's fatigue, but we were sure we could have managed that very well. But he pulled out at the last moment and he made himself unavailable. I think this will hurt Pakistan cricket," Wahab said during the press conference while announcing Pakistan's squad for the tour.
The Big Bash League 2023-24 will get underway on December 7 and will conclude with the summit clash on January 2024.