Wednesday Aug 04, 2021
Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Khan Afridi has arrived in Muzaffarabad - the venue for the Kashmir Premier League 2021.
The cricketing superstar, who is a brand ambassador for the KPL event, announced his arrival on social media. Taking to Instagram, the 44-year-old player, who is commonly known as Boom Boom Afridi, shared some photos after arriving in the scenic city.
“Beautiful Muzaffarabad! Wonderful to be here for the KPL," Afridi captioned the post. "It is an ideal opportunity for youngsters in Kashmir to showcase their talent at a big stage,” he wrote.
The first edition of the KPL is all set to begin on August 6 in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir. The premier cricketing event will continue for ten days.
The league will have six franchises contesting for the prestigious trophy in 18 matches till August 17. The franchises are Rawalakot Hawks, Kotli Lions, Mirpur Royals, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Overseas Warriors, and Bagh Stallions.
The Mirpur Royals will play under the captaincy of Shoaib Malik, Bagh Stallions will strive for the trophy with skipper Shadab Khan, while the Muzaffarabad Tigers will fight under Muhammed Hafeez. Imad Wasim is all set to lead the Overseas Warriors, with Fakhar Zaman leading Kotli Lions and Afridi leading the Rawalakot Hawks.
On July 31, Afridi condemned the attempt by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to spoil the event by threatening foreign players from participating in the KPL.
Brushing aside Indian threats, Afridi also said Pakistan's cricket event will take place as planned.
“Really disappointing that BCCI is once again mixing cricket and politics! KPL is a league for Kashmir, Pakistan and cricket fans around the world. We will put up a wonderful show and won't be deterred with such behaviour!!,” Afridi had said in his tweet while responding to former South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs.
The BCCI controversy was brought to the fore by Gibbs who accused the BCCI of warning cricket boards that if their former players took part in the KPL, they won’t be allowed to play Indian cricket at any level or in any capacity.
Unsettled over the KPL being held in Pakistan, the BCCI had 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. 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.