BCCI asks ICC not to recognise Kashmir Premier League: Reports

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly (right) and secretary Jay Shah (PC: PTI)
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly (right) and secretary Jay Shah (PC: PTI)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has approached the International Cricket Council (ICC), urging it not to recognise the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), a Pakistan-based domestic T20 tournament slated to begin on August 4.

According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the Indian board has expressed its displeasure at the competition to the ICC in writing. The rationale behind BCCI's complaint apparently revolves around the status of the Kashmir valley and the age-old dispute between India and Pakistan over it.

However, it is unclear how the ICC would react to the issue. The ICC has no role in the approval of domestic tournaments by a Full Member country, and the KPL has the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s full backing. According to the aforementioned report, the world body doesn't have anything in its regulations about disputed territories as well.

The development comes less than 24 hours after the BCCI and the PCB exchanged barbs over the involvement of players in the KPL. The PCB had accused the BCCI of 'meddling' in its internal affairs. That followed media reports suggesting that the Indian board was in touch with a few other countries in a bid to prevent their players' involvement in the competition.

One of the prospective participants, former South Africa opener Herschelle Gibbs, 'had even claimed that the BCCI has been 'threatening” and 'preventing' him to play the KPL.

BCCI's response to Gibbs, PCB's accusations

While the BCCI hasn't released any official statement on the issue, an unnamed official provided a no-holds-barred reply to the accusations. In an interaction with news agency ANI, the official pointed at Gibbs’ role in the match-fixing saga of 2020, adding that the PCB was coming out as 'confused'.

“While one can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the statement made by a former player who has figured in a CBI investigation into match-fixing earlier, the PCB must understand that even if Gibbs’ statement is assumed to be true, the BCCI would be well within their rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in India. The fact that the Indian cricketing ecosystem is the most sought after for cricketing opportunities globally, should not be envied by the PCB."
“PCB is coming across as confused. Just the way the decision to not allow players of Pakistani origin to participate in the IPL cannot be construed as interfering in the internal affairs of an ICC member, the decision, if any, to allow or disallow anyone from participating in any manner with cricket within India is purely an internal matter of the BCCI.”

As of now, the KPL is slated to proceed as a six-team competition to be played at the Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium from August 6 till August 16 2021.

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Edited by Bhargav
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