The BCCI urged the ICC to refuse to recognise the Kashmir Premier League (“KPL”), the Pakistani T20 championship that was scheduled to begin in August 6.
On Saturday, the PCB expressed its unhappiness over what it considered the BCCI’s attempts to interfere in the PCB’s internal affairs. It was based on reports that BCCI had been in touch and tried to stop players representing those countries from playing in the league. Herschelle Gabbs, an ex-South Africa opener, is expected to participate in the league. He claimed that he had been threatened and wouldn’t be allowed entry into India for any work related to cricket. Ludicrous.
The basis of the BCCI’s complaint seems to centre around the status of Kashmir as disputed territory – and whether matches can be played in such territories – and its central place in the long-running dispute between India and Pakistan.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) August 2, 2021
Now, however, it appears that the BCCI reached out to ICC as well. The BCCI complain seems to be centered around Kashmir’s status, which is disputed. These issues include whether matches can take place in such territories. They also question its centrality in the long-running disputes between the two nations. Since 1947 when India became independent, Kashmir has been the source of numerous wars between Pakistani and Indian countries. Both countries own a small part of the region and govern it independently. Relations between the two countries on the diplomatic and policy fronts have fluctuated over the years.
Relations between the boards are influenced by current political events. This latest spat could only worsen an already fragile relationship. The sides have not played one another in a bilateral series, or a test match, since 2007-08; however they meet regularly in ICC events.
“It’s all really very strange.”
India ‘warning cricketers’ against playing in inaugural Kashmir Premier League (KPL) cricket tournament https://t.co/f8TSTGFj8C pic.twitter.com/BzvUNzk4lY
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 31, 2021
However, there appears to be nothing the ICC can do. Approval is given to such domestic leagues by the Full member country where the tournament is being held, and not by the ICC. Also, the PCB has approval for the KPL. Matches held in disputed territories do not require approval by the ICC.
The KPL is a six-team franchise-model league, PCB-approved, and to be played at the Muzaffarabad cricket stadium in Pakistan-administered Kashmir from August 6. A draft was conducted last month to select the squads. According to organizers, they would be captained, according Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez as well as Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Maklik, Kamran Akmal, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Azmal, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim.
BCCI’s concerns are however centered on foreign players signed up to the league. These players help make the tournament international and legitimate. Monty Panesar’s, Matt Prior and Phil Mustard are among the international players who have been retired. The BCCI has confirmed through multiple conversations that these players are rebels and will be treated similarly to other participants in unrecognised leagues.