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Tuesday Aug 03 2021
Web Desk

'Free marketing': BCCI ended up giving KPL a boost while trying to disrupt it

Web Desk
Logo of Kashmir Premier League (KPL).
Logo of Kashmir Premier League (KPL).

Kashmir Premier League (KPL) chief Arif Malik Monday thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for its antics that had, instead of harming, helped the KPL, ahead of its opening match on August 6.

The league has already made a lot of buzz after it came to light that the BCCI was actively involved in threatening foreign players against playing in the KPL. 

"Thanks to the BCCI," said Malik, speaking on Dawn News show Replay. "This board is a mafia in the world and it is considered a terror in the world. Not only are they stopping the cricketers, they are also preventing our production crew from arriving [to cover the event]," he added. 

 Malik said he was concerned about the league's marketing before the entire row with the BCCI began, adding that it had resulted in immense social media popularity for the KPL.

The KPL chief said he was receiving calls from around the world from cricket boards, who were now interested to know what the KPL is about.

He said the "hue and cry" made by the BCCI had ensured the success of the KPL even before it had begun. Malik said his team had put in their hard work and dedication into the league.

Malik confirmed that former South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs and Sri Lanka's Dilshan, despite being warned by the BCCI to snub the KPL, have also agreed to take part in the league, adding that the former "will be here soon", without revealing the date due to security reasons.

Malik said that for an event such as the KPL, "even our lives should be readily available", adding that sentiments, instead of workload management, should be kept in mind. 

Sports journalist Aalia Rasheed also agreed with the KPL chief, saying that in its attempt to thwart the cricket league, the BCCI had unwittingly helped promote it and generate buzz about the KPL around the globe. 

"While discouraging the international players from participating in the Kashmir Premier League, @BCCI has actually given the said T20 league a much needed hype! The organisers of the @kpl_20 must be obliged," she tweeted. 

Responding to a social media user, she said that if Monty Panesar, Gibbs and Dilshan were washed-up players, then why did the BCCI go to such extremes to keep them from playing in the KPL?

BCCI threatens foreign cricketers

Unsettled over the KPL being held in Pakistan, the BCCI 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.”