PCB to move ICC against Indian cricket board for pressuring cricketers against playing in Kashmir Premier League

Published July 31, 2021
Herschelle Gibbs is to represent Overseas Warriors in KPL 2021 but says BCCI is trying to prevent that from happening. — Photo: Karachi Kings/File
Herschelle Gibbs is to represent Overseas Warriors in KPL 2021 but says BCCI is trying to prevent that from happening. — Photo: Karachi Kings/File

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed its displeasure over reports of India's cricket board forcing members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to withdraw their players from the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), saying that it would raise the issue with the relevant ICC forum, according to a PCB press release issued on Saturday.

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif had taken to Twitter on Friday, saying the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was "warning cricket boards that if their former players took part in KPL, they won’t be allowed entry in India or allowed to work in Indian cricket at any level or in any capacity."

On Saturday, former South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs accused the BCCI of attempting to prevent him from participating in the inaugural KPL. He added that the BCCI had also threatened of denying him entry in India if he participated in the league.

"Completely unnecessary of the BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me [from] 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. Ludicrous."

Reacting to the development, the PCB said in its statement it would "raise this matter at the appropriate ICC forum and also reserves the right to take any further action that is available to us within the ICC charter".

The PCB expressed the belief that the BCCI had "breached international norms and the spirit of the gentleman’s game" through its interference in the internal affairs of ICC members.

"The PCB considers that the BCCI has brought the game into disrepute by issuing warnings to multiple ICC members to stop their retired cricketers from featuring in the KPL, further threatening [them that] they will not be allowed entry into India for cricket-related work.

"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," the statement reads.

'Unfortunate and regrettable'

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri also reacted strongly to Gibbs' claims, saying that India's politicisation of cricket couldn't be "condemned enough".

"Depriving young Kashmiri players of the opportunity to share [a] dressing room with big names in cricket is unfortunate and regrettable," he tweeted.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, meanwhile, said that it was not the first time that Narendra Modi's government had sacrificed cricket for its politics. "The pressure on Herschelle Gibbs not to participate in the Kashmir [Premier] League is a continuation of this old practice," he tweeted.

"We strongly condemn these measures," Chaudhry said, adding that such measures would only benefit the Kashmir movement instead of weakening it.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was also questioned on the issue during a press conference in Multan today, to which he said: "What else do you expect from them? (India) Will they create ease for you? We will do every effort to move matters forward there (Kashmir) and [that] there is sporting activity."

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