Former England spinner Monty Panesar has withdrawn from the controversial Kashmir Premier League formulated by Pakistan. Monty Panesar was one of the players initially supposed to play along with the likes of Herschelle Gibbs and Tillakaratne Dilshan. However, the veteran has pulled out due to the rising political tensions between India and Pakistan. He announced the same via Twitter.
The Kashmir Premier League (KPL) has increased the tensions between India and Pakistan even more as BCCI has warned players from participating in it. With Kashmir being the central focus of the dispute and cause of several wars, both countries control part of the region; however, govern it separately. As a result, the political relations between the two have fluctuated over the years.
After the BCCI threatened to debar any players from participating in any cricket-related activity within India if they play in KPL, PCB and former South African opener Herschelle Gibbs hit back. Herschelle Gibbs tweeted that BCCI has unnecessarily brought their political agenda by preventing him from partaking in the competition. He also revealed that the Indian cricket board has threatened him, saying they won’t allow him to enter India moving forward.
PCB also expressed his displeasure, stating that BCCI has insulted the game by stopping a few cricketers from playing in the KPL. It claimed that such actions are unacceptable and vowed to raise the issue at the ICC. However, the BCCI had not remained quite either, requesting the apex body not to recognize the tournament. The constant strains between India and Pakistan forced Monty Panesar to pull out.
Below is Monty Panesar’s tweet:
I have decided not to participate in the KPL because of the political tensions between India and Pakistan over kashmir issues. I don't want to be in the middle of this , it would make me feel uncomfortable. #KPL2021 #Kashmir #india #Cricket #Pakistan #ENGvIND #TheHundred
— Monty Panesar (@MontyPanesar) August 1, 2021
Monty Panesar revealed he does not wish to be in the middle of the rising tensions, making him feel uncomfortable. The KPL, meanwhile, is a six-team franchise tournament to occur in the Muzaffarabad cricket stadium in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir region from the 6th of August. Overseas players like Phil Mustard and Matt Prior had also been picked in the draft.