Sources from the Indian Premier League have, on Monday, said that there is ‘no ban’ on Wasim Akram commentating in India.
The clarification comes after reports emerged in Pakistan that the pacer-turned-commentator had reportedly been denied permission by the Indian government to commentate in the upcoming T20 Champions League tournament starting in India from October 8.
However sources in IPL have told us that the decision to include him in the commentary team will be taken by the host broadcaster and that there are no such policy instructions from the government.
Meanwhile Akram was among the favourites to take up the job as a bowling coach with IPL outfit the Kolkata Knight Riders but was unable to do so following similar instructions. But Akram is still slated to hold a camp with the Knight Riders but the the fate of that may well rest on the BCCI and the Indian government.
Earlier, India’s decision to put on hold all Indo-Pak cricketing exchanges has now been extended to the commentary box, with Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram being removed from the list of commentators for the upcoming Champions League T20 event starting on October 8. Akram is currently in South Africa to commentate on the ongoing Champions Trophy.
The government’s decision puts Akram in a fix since he is a bowling consultant for IPL team Knight Riders and is scheduled to fly to New Delhi for the last three days of a camp being held in Gurgaon.
The IPL, incidentally, suspended contracts of Pakistani players ahead of this year’s edition in a fallout of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
“Yes, I know about the decision but I don’t know if the government is involved. Let me find out what is happening,” Akram said.
Sources, however, said Akram would go ahead with his plans to visit the KR camp in his role as consultant.
The Pak legend, though, will be joining the Knight Riders camp in Gurgaon and will be leaving on Tuesday to be in the camp for three days before flying back to Lahore.
The camp had been extended by a day to suit his schedule. Interestingly, in spite of the governments efforts, there will be a Pakistan presence in the Champions League: Sussex’s Pakistani seamer Yasir Arafat, who has been named in the Sussex Sharks squad. It remains to be seen if the government objects to his presence.