ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi condemned India’s negative attitude and conspiracies against the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) and called upon the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take notice of the Indian behaviour.
“The Kashmiri players whether from Azad Kashmir or the Indian-occupied Kashmir should be encouraged to excel,” Qureshi said while talking to media in the Parliament House.
“Kashmiris take a lot of interest in cricket. They are waiting for the KPL to take place. India should reconsider its stance, as this attitude will benefit nothing but cause disrepute to the country.”
Shah Mahmood Qureshi called upon the Narendra Modi government to conduct the same cricketing event in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) as well.
“Who stopped you from doing so?” he asked. He also impressed upon India not to politicise sports as holding the Kashmir Premier League is a normal activity.
The foreign minister said many foreign players are eager to play in the KPL but they are being threatened for participating in the cricket event.
The foreign minister said the KPL event must be streamed on television screens in Srinagar as well.
He called into question the fear regarding the Kashmir Premier League given that all and sundry watch a cricket match if it is played in Sharjah.
BCCI threatens foreign players
Unsettled over the KPL being held in Pakistan, the BCCI had issued a warning to other cricket boards last week for allowing their players to play in the KPL.
Following the threat from the Indian cricket board, several foreign cricketers withdrew from the event which is set to begin on August 6. However, KPL President Arif Malik had said that the tournament will go ahead as scheduled, adding that Pakistani cricketers will participate.
Sources said the Indian board had threatened the foreign players through their agents, saying that if they went to Kashmir, the doors of Indian cricket, including the IPL, would be closed for them.
The six foreign cricketers, who have excused themselves from the KPL, are Monty Panesar, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, Owais Shah and Tenu Best.
PCB slams BCCI
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday expressed displeasure over reports of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) calling multiple ICC members and forcing them to withdraw their retired cricketers from the Kashmir Premier League.
“The PCB believes the BCCI has once again breached international norms and the spirit of the gentleman’s game by interfering in the internal affairs of the ICC members as the KPL has been approved by the PCB,” the statement from cricket board had said.
“The PCB considers the BCCI has brought the game into disrepute by issuing warnings to multiple ICC members to stop their retired cricketers from featuring in the Kashmir Premier League, further threatening 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 had said.
“The PCB will 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.”