Nationality of cricketers should not matter in the Indian Premier League and franchises should be allowed to pick best players from around the globe, feels KKR CEO Joy Bhattacharya, who recently signed an MOU with rookie Pakistan pacer Muhammad Irfan.
“It shouldn’t matter which country they belong to. But we want to be in a position where we can sign on the best available players,” Bhattacharya told the Geo Super channel last night.
Kolkata Knight Riders recently entered into an MOU with Irfan who is yet to play for Pakistan after watching him bowl in a couple of practice matches in Sri Lanka.
Irfan was invited to play in Sri Lanka by the KKR management on the recommendation of former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, who is on the coaching staff of the team.
The KKR CEO, however, said that although the franchise had entered into an agreement with Irfan but his participation in the fourth edition of the IPL was totally dependent on the official rules and regulations of the league.
“We have signed an MOU with Irfan but so far the IPL franchises have not been told about any policy regarding participation of Pakistani players in the IPL,” he said.
Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board felt that there were bright chances of Pakistani players finally playing again in the IPL next year because of some significant changes in the management of the IPL.
“For one Lalit Modi is no longer on the IPL management board and he played an instrumental role in including our players names for the players auction this year and then influencing the franchises to ignore them completely,” a source said.
“With Modi no longer in power and a new set up running IPL affairs directly under the control of the Indian board we are pretty confident this time our players will get a chance to play in the IPL. Our government is also now more responsive to sporting ties with India,” another source stated.
Number of Pakistani players took part in the IPL first season but didn’t feature in the next two editions because of strained political and diplomatic ties between the two countries.
No Pakistani team or player is also part of the Champions League being held in South Africa from next month.
The same situation prevailed in the league when it was launched last year in India although Sialkot Stallions led by former Pakistan captain, Shoaib Malik have twice won the right to represent the country in the league by virtue of being the national T20 champions.