Pakistan’s Kashmir Premier League (KPL), the first edition of which will be played between five teams representing cities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and one team representing ‘overseas’ Kashmiris, was announced in December last year.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now drawn the line for those expected to be associated with KPL 2021. The Indian board has told all cricket boards around the world that if their players are seen participating in KPL, they would be banned from playing in leagues in India or having any commercial connection with the BCCI.
“While asking the boards not to allow their players to take part in the Kashmir league, we have informed them that in case they do, they can’t be part of any cricketing activity in India. We have done this keeping national interest in mind,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying to The Indian Express.
“We have no problems with those playing the Pakistan Super League (PSL) but this is a league in PoK. We are toeing our government’s line,” the official added.
BCCI’s response has come after former South Africa cricketer Herschelle Gibbs accused them of trying to prevent him from playing in the KPL. In his tweet, Gibbs criticised the BCCI for ‘threatening him’ and bringing a ‘political agenda with Pakistan into the equation’.
“Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20. Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous,” Gibbs tweeted.
Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20 . Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous 🙄
— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) July 31, 2021
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed its displeasure on the issue.
“The PCB considers that the BCCI has brought the game into disrepute by issuing warnings to multiple ICC Members to stop their retired cricketers from featuring in the Kashmir Premier League, further threatening they will not be allowed entry into India for cricket-related work,” the PCB said in its statement.
“Such conduct from the BCCI is completely unacceptable, against the preamble of the Spirit of Cricket and sets a dangerous precedent, which can neither be tolerated nor ignored.”