Guwahati: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come up with a strong stance over the upcoming Kashmir Premier League (KPL) which is set to get underway in the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) this month. BCCI has reportedly warned cricket boards around the world that those taking part in the league will be banned from all sorts of cricketing activities in India.
According to reports, BCCI has confirmed that those cricketers who are taking part in the Kashmir Premier League in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), would be barred from playing in leagues in India or having any commercial connection with the BCCI, they can’t be part of any cricket related work in India.
BCCI has informally informed the boards that any participation in the controversial league will mean their commercial tie-ups with the BCCI will be over. A BCCI official said that the decision has been taken while keeping national interest in mind and that the board has no problems with players playing in the Pakistan Super League (IPL) but it had to draw the line when it came to a league in PoK.
“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 by 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 the Indian board of trying to prevent him from taking part in the KPL. In a 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
Following Gibbs’ statement, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also released a statement criticising BCCI for bringing the game into disrepute. Gibbs, who was one of the accused of the 2000 match-fixing scandal, has signed up to play for the Overseas Warriors franchise in the KPL. While slamming the BCCI, PCB also stated that it plans to take up the matter with the ICC.
However, BCCI has made its stance clear that any player or cricket board taking part in the KPL will be barred from all cricketing activities in India. The controversial PoK league has now become a bone of contention between the BCCI and PCB and might result into a conflict between the two boards.
The inaugural edition of the Kashmir Premier League will be played from August 06 to 16 with six teams taking part. Several former Pakistan cricketers including the likes of Wasim Akram and Sahid Afridi were part of the league’s launch.