New Delhi: Pakistan have decided not to broadcast the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League in the country. Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry, Pakistan Minister of Information and Broadcasting confirmed the development on Thursday. The 12th edition of the IPL gets underway from March 23, however, Pakistan will not be airing the matches. Chaudhary said that the way Indian government and companies treated Pakistan Super League was disappointing and that the neighbouring nation cannot tolerate IPL being shown in the country after hostile reception of the PSL in India.
Earlier, DSport – the official broadcaster of the PSL in India had decided to ban the coverage of the league in India before resuming broadcast during the knockout stages of the tournament. DSport’s decision to not telecast PSL in India came in the wake of the dastardly Pulwama terror attack which saw 40 CRPF soldiers lose their lives in one of the deadliest terror attacks in the history of Jammu & Kashmir.
Several state cricket boards in India took down pictures and memorabilia related to Pakistan cricket from their premises protesting against the attack. IMG Reliance had also pulled out as the official producer of the PSL which forced the Pakistan-based T20 league to find a new production company midway into the tournament.
“During the PSL, the way the Indian companies and the government treated Pakistan cricket. after that, we can’t tolerate that IPL is shown in Pakistan,” Chaudhry told a Pakistan news channel.
Chaudhry also accused the Indian government and Indian cricket team of politicising cricket. Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had written to the ICC requesting action against the BCCI after Indian team sported camouflage caps in the Ranchi ODI of the five-match series against Australia, as a mark of respect to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack.
“We tried to keep politics and cricket apart but then the Indian cricket team played matches wearing army caps against Australia. There was no action taken against that. I feel if IPL is not shown in Pakistan it will be a loss for IPL and Indian cricket. We are a cricketing superpower in international cricket,” Chaudhry added.
Meanwhile, there have been calls in India to boycott Pakistan at the upcoming World Cup. Several current and former Indian cricketers including the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir and others have demanded a complete ban on Pakistan. BCCI had written to the ICC demanding a ban on nations harbouring terrorism, however, the international body turned down the Indian board’s request.
ICC maintained that it cannot interfere in government-related matters and cannot ask member nations to cut ties with a particular country. (Times Now)