Pakistan's centrally contracted players have been told to put national team duty ahead of franchise cricket after fast bowler Haris Rauf declined to be part of the team's Test tour of Australia.
White-ball specialist Rauf has instead been waiting for approval from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to join BBL side the Melbourne Stars.
"All centrally contracted and domestic contracted players, for all of them, the priority is Pakistan," team director and former captain Mohammad Hafeez told reporters on Tuesday.
"The point of offering (contracts) to the 20-25 players ... is to make sure they are available to play.
"Now there is a parallel option in the form of leagues and we experienced this in the Asia Cup and World Cup.
"There was talk of fatigue, or players were getting injured because their workloads were too much, or not performing as they should."
Hafeez is part of a new management team put in place after Pakistan failed to make the semi-finals of this year's 50-over World Cup in India.
He said the board would factor in a player's workload ahead of next year's T20 global showpiece before awarding a 'no objection certificate' (NOC) to allow them to take part in one of the growing number of lucrative franchise leagues around the world.
"Moving towards the T20 World Cup, the NOC policy will be based on what Pakistan needs," Hafeez explained.
"If Pakistan need fit players, we need to make sure of their workloads. The maximum energy and availability has to be to Pakistan.
"If there is an opportunity around that, that they can play (in leagues), that will be definitely considered."
The Melbourne Stars told AAP on Tuesday they still expect Rauf to rejoin the club for the new BBL campaign, "until we hear otherwise".
The Stars are planning to have a dedicated Pakistan bay during their first three MCG games of the season, with spinner Usama Mir joining his countryman Rauf in playing in Melbourne.
If Rauf isn't cleared to play for the Stars it would be another massive blow for the BBL, with the top-two picks in the draft - Harry Brook (Stars) and Rashid Khan (Adelaide Strikers) - already having withdrawn.
- with AAP
Australian Associated Press