Karachi: The head of Pakistan's cricket board Thursday offered foreign players insurance worth $2 million and up to $100,000 tax free income in a bid to lure them to join the troubled country's new Twenty20 league. The world professional cricketers' union has warned players against taking part in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), due to start in March, because of the "unmanageable" security risk.
Pakistan is struggling with a homegrown Islamist insurgency and suffers bombings and shootings on an almost daily basis. No international cricket has been played in the country since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in 2009.
Zaka Ashraf, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said they were ready to offer insurance to any player wishing to tour the country. "It's extra security and optional for the players if they want to take it for the satisfaction of their families," Ashraf told AFP.
"It will be worth two million dollars and above all tax free income for all."
Ashraf said he was determined to revive home internationals, but the PCB faces a tough challenge. Twice in the past 12 months Bangladesh have agreed to a tour only to dash Pakistani hopes by changing their minds due to security fears.
Players stand to earn between $25,000 and $100,000 for taking part in the two-week tournament under the wage structure the PCB announced on Wednesday.