The domestic T20 cricket league model has become ubiquitous across the cricket playing world, but it is yet to become ubiquitously profitable. The glitz, glamour and pomp of Indian Premier League (IPL) have become the benchmark for most nations, but while the IPL is sustained by a rabid viewership millions strong, smaller nations are having difficulty drawing audiences. The end result has been T20 leagues growing incrementally or, in the case of South Africa, shutting down completely. The teams and the franchises associated with them mostly operate in loss, hoping to hit critical mass down the line – not every team league or franchise reaches that critical mass.

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has been plagued by similar problems. Franchises operated at a loss in the first few editions and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) clashed often with individual franchises over unpaid dues. Although team like Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United have fixed their financial woes, others have been less fortunate. As such, before every edition we come to an impasse; the PCB demanding dues, the franchises asking for relief.

This year is no different. With the entirety of the league being held in Pakistan instead of the UAE the expenses are lower and the opportunities for profit-making is higher, yet the franchises are still hesitant to submit their dues, claiming gross losses. However, they are also unwilling to reveal their financial statements to the PCB to back up their claim. This is not justifiable.

The PCB should understand that the process of establishing a successful T20 league is a gradual collaborative process, where in the interests of growth hard rules can be bent a little. But to avail such concessions the franchises cannot hide their finances and refuse to cooperate with the PCB.

The financial success of some franchises should be enough to demonstrate that the problem does not lie with the overall arrangement, but perhaps with the management of the loss-making franchises.