The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has written to the world cricket body ICC, urging them not to acknowledge the Kashmir Premier League which is fast dividing the cricket world. The tournament will be played in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK)’s Muzaffrabad which is the heart of a disputed land-a bone of contention between India and Pakistan for years. The tournament is set to start on August 6 and will see participation from top Pak cricketers like Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and others.
“The basis of the BCCI’s complaint seems to centre around the status of Kashmir as disputed territory – and whether matches can be played in such territories – and its central place in the long-running dispute between the two countries. The status of Kashmir has been the cause of several wars between India and Pakistan from the moment India gained independence and Pakistan was created in 1947. Both countries control parts of the region but govern it separately. Political and diplomatic ties between the two countries have fluctuated over the years, and are currently going through a prolonged low,” ESPN Cricinfo stated in its report.
Meanwhile a number of cricketers including South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs have alleged that Indian cricket board is doing everything to dissuade them from joining KPL. The Pakistan Cricket Board too has lashed out at BCCI: “Such conduct from the BCCI is completely unacceptable, against the preamble of the Spirit of Cricket and sets a dangerous precedence, which can neither be tolerated nor ignored. The PCB will raise this matter at the appropriate ICC forum and also reserves the right to take any further action that is available to us within the ICC charter,” read the PCB statement.
Monty Panesar Pulls Out
Panesar decided to call it quits from KPL 2021 after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) ‘advised’ him about the consequences. Allegedly, BCCI isn’t happy with Pakistan conducting the Kashmir league and has warned all the overseas players against their participating in the tournament.
“The reason I decided to not participate in this league was that I was clearly advised by the ECB and BCCI that if I do play, the consequences could be that I may be denied a visa in the future and maybe denied any cricket opportunity in India. I have just started my media-sports career and India is one of the places I want to work. The negative outweighs the pros. I would have lost a huge opportunity in India,” Panesar said as quoted by Republic World.