Pakistan give green signal to cricketers for Indian Premier League (IPL)

Pakistan’s sports authorities on Friday announced that they have no objections to their cricketers featuring in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani said in an interview that since IPL was not national duty, his ministry will not block the country’s players from playing in it.

“We feel IPL is a private league in which Pakistani players compete in an individual capacity,” said Jilani.

The sports minister said Pakistan President Asif Zardari, patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), had sought the ministry’s opinion on players’ participation in this year’s IPL that begins on April 10.

“We have replied to the presidency on this issue and now it’s up to the players and the PCB,” he added.

Pakistan had earlier blocked its hockey and squash teams’ tour of India because of strained relations over November’s terror attacks in Mumbai. The move came after India refused to send its cricket team for a much-awaited series in Pakistan.

Top Pakistani cricketers including new captain Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Kamran Akmal featured in the inaugural edition of the cash-rich IPL.

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