Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain had a rather straightforward remark on the absence of the country’s stars in the UAE and CSA T20 leagues.

A number of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have invested in teams in the upcoming UAE International League T20 as well as the Cricket South Africa’s inaugural T20 league. The Mumbai Indians franchise has even confirmed a series of players for their team in the UAE league.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Salman Butt Doesn’t Expect Pakistan Cricketers To Play In CSA T20 And ILT20 Leagues As IPL Franchises Owners Are Involved

While there were players from all major cricket-playing nations, none from Pakistan is yet to feature in the league. The country’s former captain Salman Butt, however, is not surprised at the exclusion.

Talking about the absence of Pakistan cricketers, Salman Butt pointed out that since IPL franchises have invested in the clubs across both leagues in the UAE and South Africa, he didn’t expect players from the country to feature.

“Did you expect Pakistan players to play? I didn’t expect it at all. It wasn’t the Emirates airlines that anyone can travel there. Who bought the teams? All owners are from IPL franchises. Why will they buy Pakistan players then? Everyone knows that they don’t pick Pakistan players. What’s surprising in that?” said Butt.

India vs Pakistan
India vs Pakistan (Credits: Twitter)

“We played PSL earlier as well, and will continue to play that. In the rest, PCB doesn’t allow to play. It is not a big issue. Yes, it could’ve been an opportunity. It has been going on for long that they don’t play Pakistan anywhere other than ICC tournaments and they don’t pick Pakistan players, so there is no point hoping.”

Both the teams have not played a bilateral series against each other since Pakistan visited India in early 2013 for a short series. Apart from the suspension of the bilateral series, the Pakistani players are also not allowed to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Pakistani players featured in the tournament just once in 2008 before the terrorist attack in Mumbai prompted the Indian government to ban the Pakistanis from IPL.

Since the suspension of the bilateral ties, India and Pakistan have played against each other only in ICC tournaments and the Asia Cup. They last played against each other in last year’s 2021 T20I World Cup and will be up against each other this month when the Asia Cup 2022 gets underway.

Salman Butt: Pakistan Cricketers’ Performances Have Improved Despite Not Playing Global T20 Leagues

Salman Butt, however, also stated that it doesn’t matter much even if Pakistan players aren’t picked to play in these leagues, insisting that the country’s performances in international cricket have improved despite their absence in the Indian Premier League.

“They do whatever they can for the betterment of players. Pakistan players played in IPL in 2008; since then, they won the T20 World Cup and the Champions Trophy. We won against India in the World Cup as well. So, it didn’t really impact our health at all. Our player is no.1 in two formats, Imam is second in ODIs. So, good things are happening,” said Salman Butt.

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan (Credits: Twitter)

Babar Azam is the No. 1 ranked batter in ODIs, followed by Imam-ul-Haq. Babar Azam is also No. 1 ranked in T20Is with Mohammad Rizwan being 3rd placed. The last time the two teams met was in the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE where the Men in Green defeated their rivals comprehensively by 10 wickets courtesy of a Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan special.