Pakistan takes U-turn, invites Indian players to play PSL T20
Pakistan Cricket Board surprising everybody opens the door to the idea of having Indian’s at the Pakistan Super League.
In February, Najam Sethi, the head of PCB’s executive committee, ruled out the participation of Indian players in Pakistan’s version of the IPL next February. Now, Sethi took a u-turn as he said the presence of Indian players will make “PSL the second biggest thing after IPL.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board is desperate to host India in a full series in UAE in December. After a series of failed attempt BCCI’s newly elected president, Shashank Manohar agreed to talk with his Pakistan counterpart Shahryar Khan, who confirmed the news that BCCI boss called him to talk about the uncertain series scheduled in UAE, December. Pakistan recently said that if India denies to play them then they will boycott India in ICC and ACC events.
Sethi’s plans to invite Indians in the PSL is also aimed at enabling Pakistani play in IPL once again. BCCI had subtly shut the door on Pakistani players after the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008 saw the participation of top Pakistani players like Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar and Misbah-ul- Haq.
Kamran Akmal, Sohail Tanvir and Younis Khan were part of Shane Warne’s inaugural IPL winning Rajasthan Royals squad and Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi played for Kolkata Knight Riders and now defunct Deccan Chargers. But, after the deadly terror attack in Mumbai in 2008 Indian governments snapped all ties with Pakistan. So, BCCI did not allow Pakistan players to participate in the cash-rich league.
Sethi told Pakistan’s Nation newspaper: “We are going to try to persuade the Indians to play us in December. If that happens, we will also be talking about a reciprocal arrangement — and I have had preliminary talks with people in Delhi on this — about Pakistani players being allowed to play in IPL and Indian players being allowed to play in PSL.
“If the series takes place in December, the ground will be fertile. If you don’t want our players to play in your league, okay, but at least let your players play in ours. It will be difficult for them to refuse that. There will be pressure from the players. If Indian players do come in, then I think PSL will become the biggest thing in cricket after IPL.”
However, Indian players are not allowed to participate in any other T20 tournaments.
Scheduled between February 4-24 in Dubai and Sharjah, PSL, with a prize money of 1 million US Dollars, has already attracted world stars like Kevin Pietersen, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. It has even listed an Indian coach, former all-rounder Robin Singh.