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“PCB seems confused” – BCCI official slams Pakistan over Gibbs and KPL issue

Herschelle Gibbs finds himself in the middle of a controversy after his tweet on BCCI.
Herschelle Gibbs finds himself in the middle of a controversy after his tweet on BCCI.

An official from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has slammed former South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the recent Kashmir Premier League (KPL) controversy.

Calling the PCB “confused”, the BCCI official clarified that the Indian cricket board is within its rights to make decisions regarding the cricketing ecosystem in its country.

Earlier on Saturday, Gibbs criticized the BCCI for “threatening” and “preventing” him to play the KPL.

Later in the day, the PCB released a statement expressing its displeasure with the BCCI and stating that it would take up the matter with the game’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The PCB Press Release.
The PCB Press Release.

Speaking on the issue, a BCCI official pointed out Gibbs’ role in the match-fixing saga of 2020 and told ANI:

“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.”

Gibbs, who represented South Africa between 1996 and 2010, is expected to play the KPL 2021 as an overseas player for Overseas Warrior, a team led by Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim.

Pakistan are welcome to raise the matter with the ICC: BCCI official

The BCCI official stated that the PCB are welcome to take up the matter with the ICC and also hinted at political interference at the neighboring country’s cricket board.

“They are welcome to raise the matter at the ICC, and one can understand where this is coming from, but the question that they need to ask themselves is whether it is on account of government interference in their working since the PM of Pakistan is officially their Patron as per their own constitution. It is time to consider whether this issue also ought to be raised at the ICC,” said the BCCI official.

Further questioning if the KPL is official cricket, the BCCI official added:

“The PCB would do well to peruse the ICC’s classification of official cricket. In the eventuality that a retired player is participating as a player in a tournament, it would not quite be official cricket, and any permission granted would be moot. I am not really sure how they are reading this to mean what they are intending it to mean, but then the PCB’s positioning is always bemusing. They should allow cricket to entertain rather than their decision making.”

The first edition of the KPL will be held at the Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. The PCB-backed tournament sees six teams led by Imad Wasim, Shahid Afridi, Shadab Khan, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. The KPL is expected to start in the first week of August, having signed several current and former international cricketers.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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