Haris Rauf, the Pakistani pacer, might encounter a delay in obtaining the No Objection Certificate (NOC) required to participate in the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) season. This delay stems from his decision to skip the Test series against Australia, prompting concerns and controversies.
The BBL holds significant importance for Haris Rauf, who was signed as a marquee player by the Melbourne Stars. The potential delay in his NOC raises questions about his availability and its impact on the Stars’ bowling lineup.
Rauf’s refusal to play in the upcoming Test series against Australia has added fuel to the controversy. The decision not only affects his standing in the national team but also raises issues regarding his commitments to other leagues.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) requested Rauf’s availability for the Test series against Australia, a request that Rauf turned down for reasons yet to be fully disclosed. Rauf’s decision to skip the Test series has a direct impact on his NOC for the BBL, creating a potential delay in the necessary paperwork.
Rauf’s participation in the National T20 Cup in Pakistan is cited as the official reason for the anticipated delay in issuing his NOC. The National T20 Cup concludes on December 10, and Rauf is expected to receive his NOC for the BBL on December 11, four days after the league begins.
Wahab Riaz, the newly appointed PCB Chairman, expressed his displeasure at Rauf’s decision to deny the board’s request for the Test series. While Rauf and the PCB present different versions of the story, Riaz’s statement adds a layer of controversy to the situation.
Rauf’s status as a marquee player for the Melbourne Stars underscores his importance to the team’s bowling lineup. The delay in Rauf’s NOC raises uncertainty about his availability for the league, creating concerns for the Stars.
Cricket Australia has capitalized on Rauf’s popularity, introducing a “House of Rauf” Membership for the first three games at the MCG. A specifically dedicated seating zone, “Haris Rauf Bay,” aims to attract the South Asian audience, using Rauf’s name as a marketing tool.
The BBL season is scheduled to be played from December 7, 2023, to January 2024, with Rauf’s potential availability uncertain. Rauf’s availability or absence will significantly impact the Melbourne Stars and the overall competitiveness of the BBL.