English county cricket outfit, Middlesex, has reportedly expressed an interest in joining Pakistan Super League as the 7th outfit beginning next year.
According to several international and local media sources, the team is in contact with the Pakistan Cricket Board for an unprecedented deal which will see the 11-time Championship winners become the first foreign team to take part in another country’s league.
Andrew Cornish, the CEO of Middlesex is also reportedly in direct discussions with Najam Sethi who is leading PCB’s Management Committee.
“The PCB are interested in including overseas domestic teams in the PSL and we have held talks with them,” Cornish was quoted by The Cricketer. “Those talks have been very positive and we expect them to continue in the coming weeks.”
There is zero possibility that Middlesex will be allowed to enter this year’s Pakistan Super League but the team may take part in some warm-up games as a show of good faith between the two bodies.
In reciprocity, PCB will waive the entrance fee for Middlesex.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is also aware of the talks and has no objections to the idea thus far.
Middlesex also plays at Lord’s, one of the most famous cricketing grounds in the world, which makes them a prime financial opportunity for PSL to break into a foreign market which explains Pakistan’s willingness to bend the rules.
Whether the idea is a hoax conjured up to drum up interest by the two parties or a legitimate groundbreaking deal remains to be seen. It may turn out to be a prodromus that shapes the future of cricket as we know it.
In the meantime, PSL season 8 will begin on February 8th with Lahore Qalandars defending its first title.