Monday October 25, 2021

Gibbs accuses BCCI of pressuring him not to play in KPL

August 01, 2021

MUZAFFARABAD: Former South Africa international cricketer Herschelle Gibbs accused the Indian cricket board of trying to stop him from participating in a Twenty20 league in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

The 47-year-old Gibbs plans to play for the Overseas Warriors in the six-team Kashmir Premier League (KPL), which runs from August 6-17 and includes several retired international cricketers.

Tensions have been high between Pakistan and India since New Delhi unilaterally changed the semiautonomous status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India but claimed by both in its entirety, reported foreign media.

Gibbs said in a tweet on Saturday that it was “completely unnecessary” of the Board of Control for Cricket in India “to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the KPL. Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous.”

Several former England international players — Monty Panesar, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, and Owais Shah — have withdrawn from the KPL.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that the BCCI has “once again breached international norms and the spirit of the gentleman’s game by interfering in internal affairs of the ICC members as the KPL has been approved by the PCB.”

The PCB said it will raise the matter at the appropriate International Cricket Council forum.

According to KPL media manager Saqib Abbasi, four players from England and one each from South Africa and Sri Lanka have refused to play in the KPL after being pressured by the BCCI.

Pakistan’s government also reacted strongly against the BCCI for politicising cricket. “Depriving young Kashmiri players of the opportunity to share dressing room with big names in cricket is unfortunate and regrettable,” Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry tweeted.