IIOJK in focus

India forces ECB for forbidding English cricketers from playing KPL

Islamabad, July 31 (KMS): Under immense pressure from the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has refused to allow four English cricketers to play in the first edition of Kashmir Premier League (KPL).

The KPL tournament is set to be played in Muzaffarabad between 6th to 17th August.

Reports said, under pressure from the BCCI, four English players – Monty Panesar, Owais Shah, Matt Prior, and Phil Mustard, who had signed for the KPL – have now withdrawn themselves.

According to reports, the ECB has conveyed the KPL management that a senior BCCI official has rung the ECB, asking it to convey to the four English cricketers that if they played in the KPL, “they would not be allowed to travel to India, again”. The message further added that the four players were also threatened about their security if they played the KPL.

“They should also be conveyed that if they go to Kashmir, it’s not safe”, an official told who saw the related documents of communication between the ECB and the KPL.

It may be mentioned that India was also blamed for funding terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, back in March 2008. Interestingly, prior to the terrorist attack, Sri Lankan cricketers were also threatened for their security if they decided to play in Pakistan.

“Also, they won’t be allowed to work in anything Indian cricket related,” the official added.

Reports said that following the BCCI threat, the ECB decided to stop its players from playing the KPL.

KPL, taking notice of threats hurled to the English cricketers, is now mulling not to include any foreign player in the contest and commence with only the Pakistani and Kashmiri talent.

As a consequence, Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan and South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs were informed not to voyage the cricket-loving nation. Dilshan, however, has promised to play during whatever the circumstances are.

Arshad Khan Tanoli, the owner of the Muzaffarabad Tigers, informed about Dilshan’s presence amidst all the odds.

Meanwhile, Herschelle Gibbs, the former South Africa cricketer, has said that the BCCI is “trying to prevent” him from participating in the inaugural Kashmir Premier League (KPL) and bringing their “political agenda with Pakistan into the equation”.

Gibbs said this in a tweet, adding that the BCCI has also threatened of denying him entry in India if he participates in the KPL.

“Completely unnecessary of the BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the KPL,” the Proteas great said. “(They are) also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work.”

Later, Gibbs told media that the person issuing the threat was BCCI Secretary Jay Shah. “It came from Mr Shah. (The) message was sent to Graeme Smith who passed it on to me,” he said.

Gibbs’ remarks come a day after former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif made similar remarks. Rashid Latif, in a tweet, had said that the BCCI was “warning cricket boards that if their former players took part in Kashmir Premier League, they won’t be allowed entry in India or work in Indian cricket at any level or in any capacity.”

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