The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) not to give formal recognition to the upcoming Kashmir Premier League (KPL 2021) which is being organized by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
Relations between the two boards generally follow on from the political atmosphere between the two nations. The two sides have not played each other in a bilateral series since 2012-13 or a Test match since 2007-08, though they do face off regularly in ICC events.
South African player Herschelle Gibbs had recently tweeted that BCCI had tried to prevent him from playing in the Kashmir Premier League as he allegedly received communication from the Indian board that if he participates in the KPL, he won’t be allowed to do any cricket related work in India.
The PCB also expressed unhappiness claiming that BCCI has been reportedly reaching out to other Full Members to try and prevent players from those countries from participating in the KPL which has PCB’s recognition and is slated to begin from August 6.
BCCI Complaints To ICC Over Kashmir Premier League Hosted By PCB
ESPNCricinfo has reported that the basis of the BCCI’s complaint seems to center around the status of Kashmir as disputed territory – and whether matches can be played in such territories – and its central place in the long-running dispute between the two countries. Both countries control parts of the region but govern it separately ever since India was partitioned after independence in 1947 and Pakistan was formed.
Unfortunately, ESPNCricinfo also reported that there is little that ICC can do. Approval for such domestic leagues is given by the Full Member country in which the tournament is being played, and not the ICC, and the KPL has the PCB’s approval. Also, ICC regulations do not have any clauses about matches in disputed territories.
PCB is supposed to host the KPL 2021, which features six teams, in the Muzaffarabad cricket stadium in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The six teams, according to organizers, would be captained by Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, and Shadab Khan.
BCCI Concerned Foreign Players’ Participation Gives The Issue International Legitimacy
BCCI is concerned that if international players participate in the KPL, it turns the domestic T20 league into something more than just a domestic event and gives it international legality of sorts. Foreign players on the roster are retired and include former cricketers like Monty Panesar, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, Tino Best, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Herschelle Gibbs.
Also as per the report, BCCI has made it clear to other foreign boards that players participating in this league would be considered rebels and would be treated by them as would the participants of any unrecognized league.