Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt said he isn’t surprised with Pakistan players’ exclusion from the T20 leagues of UAE and South Africa.
Six Indian Premier League (IPL) owners have bought teams in the South Africa T20 league. Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed the owners of Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, Rajasthan and Delhi franchises own teams in South Africa from Cape Town, Durban, Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth), Johannesburg, Paarl and Pretoria respectively.
Indian owners restricting Pakistan players’ participation in emerging T20 leagues?
Five of the six franchises in UAE’s International League T20 are Indian owners, three of which have teams in the IPL. Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals have invested in UAE’s T20 league.
Barring the inaugural season of the IPl in 2008, Pakistan players haven’t featured in the world’s richest cricket league owing to political tensions between the two nations.
Didn’t expect Pakistan players to play those leagues at all: Salman Butt
Butt, who played seven matches for KKR in IPL 2008, said with Indian teams holding stakes in other leagues, there was no chance for Pakistan players’ participation in those leagues.
“Did you expect Pakistan players to play? I didn’t expect it at all. It wasn’t the Emirates airlines that anyone can travel there. Who bought the teams? All owners are from IPL franchises. Why will they buy Pakistan players then? Everyone knows that they don’t pick Pakistan players. What’s surprising in that?” Butt said on his YouTube channel.
“We played PSL earlier as well, and will continue to play that. In the rest, PCB doesn’t allow to play. It is not a big issue. Yes, it could’ve been an opportunity. It has been going on for long that they don’t play Pakistan anywhere other than ICC tournaments and they don’t pick Pakistan players, so there is no point hoping.
“They do whatever they can for the betterment of players. Pakistan players played in IPL in 2008; since then, they won the T20 World Cup and the Champions Trophy. We won against India in the World Cup as well. So, it didn’t really impact our health at all. Our player is no.1 in two formats, Imam is second in ODIs. So, good things are happening,” Butt further said.
There were reports that suggested the Pakistan Cricket Board refused to issue No-Objection Certificates to its players for the next season of Big Bash League. However, the PCB rubbished the reports and stated they won’t bar any players from playing in other leagues.