CHENNAI: Active Pakistan players were forced to miss the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League (APL) last year after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) denied them permission. The cricketers might miss the league this season too albeit for a different reason. Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) recently requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow it to organise the league in India, virtually ruling out participation of the Pakistan cricketers in the league.
“Yes, we made a request to the BCCI to allow us to hold the APL in India,” Asadullah Khan, ACB chief executive officer (CEO), confirmed to this newspaper. The decision might not go down well with the PCB that has been at loggerheads with its Indian counterpart for quite sometime now. The ACB CEO, however, sounded unfazed and said, “It’s not about ignoring someone. We need to get the league bigger and better. If the PCB takes it the wrong way then it’s their problem.”
Further justifying the decision, Khan added, “Only Shahid Afridi played the league last season.” The former Pakistan captain was icon player of Paktia Panthers in the first season. However, others like Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan, Kamran Akmal and Iftikhar Ahmed were refused no objection certificates (NOC) by the PCB, which allowed only retired cricketers to take part.
The ACB is hoping to organise the league in October, which means the APL will clash with Indian domestic season that usually starts in September.
“We can hold the league on venues not being used by the BCCI for their domestic matches. The BCCI officials were highly positive when I discussed the proposal. They told me they will get back to us soon,” Khan concluded.
The 2018 APL was held in Sharjah from October 5 to 21.
Yuvraj mulling retirement
New Delhi: Yuvraj Singh is contemplating retirement from international cricket and pursue a freelance career in ICC approved foreign Twenty20 leagues. The Punjab left-hander will make a final decision only if he gets permission from the BCCI. “Yuvraj is thinking of calling it quits from international and first-class cricket. He would like to speak to the BCCI and get more clarity on plying his trade in tournaments like GT20 (Canada), Euro T20 Slam in Ireland and Holland as he has offers,” a BCCI source privy to the development, said on Sunday. Recently, all-rounder Irfan Pathan put his name in the draft for the Caribbean Premier League but Pathan junior is an active first-class player, who didn’t seek permission from the BCCI.