LAHORE: Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman and BCCI’s vice-president Rajiv Shukla has assured that Pakistani cricketers will be allowed to take part in the next edition of the cash-rich league, former PCB chief Ijaz Butt disclosed it to Dawn here on Friday.
“With the consent of the incumbent PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, I met Rajiv Shukla and former president of the BCCI Sharad Pawar in New Delhi recently and discussed the progress on the Indo-Pak cricketing relations,” said Ijaz, who reached Lahore on Wednesday and met Zaka Ashraf on Thursday to inform him about the developments.
“In New Delhi, Rajiv Shukla has assured me that Pakistani players will be allowed to play in the next IPL edition,” Ijaz said.
“I informed Zaka Ashraf about the entire situation and now the chairman will take his own decision according to the situation,” he said.
Barring the inaugural edition of the IPL, no Pakistani player has been assigned to play in the IPL, mainly in the wake of the Mumbai attacks of December 2008.
However, now the ice is breaking as the BCCI has already allowed the Pakistan T20 champions Sialkot Stallions to feature in the upcoming Champions League for the first time.
To a question, Ijaz said though some ifs and buts were yet to be cleared for the resumption of the bilateral cricket series, the visit of PCB chairman to India this week to witness IPL’s final in Chennai will be a good occasion for the two cricket boards to reach a consensus on the issue.
It may be mentioned that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced on the occasion of the World Cup 2011 semi-final between Pakistan and India in Mohali that Indian cricket team would go to Pakistan for a short tour. However, the tour never materialised.
Recently, President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari in his one-day trip to India had discussed the resumption of ties and there was a report that Manmohan had issued strict orders to the BCCI for making effort on the resumption of cricketing ties with Pakistan.
However, many doubts still exist over a possible Pakistan-India cricket series in the near future as no concrete step has been taken by either the BCCI or the Indian government to revive the cricketing relations.
The PCB’s financial position has also suffered considerably due to absence of any international cricket at home.
In a recent interview with Dawn, Zaka had admitted that the financial position could be strengthened tremendously if India and Pakistan revive the bilateral series.
BDST: 1811 HRS, May 26, 2012
Chanchal Ghosh, Newsroom Editor
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