Wednesday September 22, 2021

BCCI’s threats ended up giving KPL a boost, says Arif Malik

Malik says he is receiving calls from around the world from cricket boards, who are now interested to know about KPL
Web Desk
August 03, 2021
BCCI’s threats ended up giving KPL a boost, says Arif Malik

ISLAMABAD: Kashmir Premier League (KPL) chief Arif Malik on Monday thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), saying that its antics had helped the league instead of harming it.

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

The KPL chief said that he was previously concerned about the league's marketing before the entire row with the BCCI began, adding that now there was immense social media popularity for the KPL.

Replying to a question, Malik said he was receiving calls from around the world from cricket boards, who were now interested to know what the KPL is about.

"Hue and cry" made by the BCCI has ensured the success of the KPL even before it has begun, he said, adding that his team had put in  hard work and dedication into the league.

He 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.

In her tweet, she wrote: "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."

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

BCCI issued a warning to  cricket boards

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, the KPL president  said that the tournament will go ahead as scheduled, adding that Pakistani cricketers will participate.

The six foreign cricketers, who have excused themselves from the KPL, are Monty Panesar, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, Owais Shah and Tenu Best.

PCB expresses   displeasure

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)  has expressed displeasure over the board 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,” a the statement from cricket board issued on Saturday 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 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.”