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`Play In PoK, Lose Lucrative Contracts In India’: BCCI Warns International Players Against Joining KPL

India Tomorrow

NEW DELHI—Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has warned former international cricketers against participating in the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) tourney being organized in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) from August 6.

BCCI has told cricket boards worldwide that those taking part in the KPL will not be permitted to play for any leagues or tournaments in India.

BCCI sources said the objection stems from the fact that PoK is a part of India, which Pakistan has illegally occupied. Therefore, Pakistan has no right to hold any tourney in the illegally held territory to mask their occupation.

Six teams will be participating in the KPL. Several big names of Pakistan cricket, including Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, and Imad Wasim, will be part of KPL. Former South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs has also been roped in to play in the league.

On Saturday, Gibbs took to Twitter, saying BCCI has warned him against taking part in the tourney.

“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.

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif alleged that the BCCI was warning cricket boards against allowing their players to participate in the tournament.

“The @BCCI warning cricket boards that if their former players took part in Kashmir Premier League, they won’t be allowed entry in India or allowed to work in Indian cricket at any level or in any capacity,” Latif said.

Expressing displeasure over the reports, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said BCCI had brought the game into disrepute by issuing warnings to multiple ICC Members to stop their retired cricketers from featuring in the Kashmir Premier League.

“Such conduct from the BCCI is completely unacceptable, against the preamble of the Spirit of Cricket and sets a dangerous precedence, which can neither be tolerated nor ignored,” PCB said in a statement.

PCB said they would raise this matter at the appropriate ICC forum. “PCB reserves the right to take any further action that is available to us within the ICC charter,” the statement said.

Taimoor Khan, director of cricket operations for KPL, in a video posted on Twitter, said it is a sad thing for cricket all over the world.

“We are monitoring the situation and are in talks with authorities on how to manage this. It’s a sad situation for the cricketers, especially the kids in Kashmir who were getting an opportunity to play cricket with not only the Pakistan stars but also sharing the dressing room with international players and learn from their experience,” he said.

Earlier, India rejected the elections in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), saying it attempted to camouflage Pakistan’s “illegal occupation” of the region.

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