Pakistan cricketers haven't been allowed to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League for the last four years (barring Azhar Mahmood, who is a British passport holder) but former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik's participation in a Delhi club tournament has raised quite a few questions.
Matters have been complicated since the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) haven't informed about Malik's participation for Hargopal CC against Sporting Club in the Lala Raghubir Hot Weather (40-over) one day tournament.
Malik played one match for Hargopal CC on June 5 at the Modern School (Barakhamba Road) ground and scored 26 runs. He arrived on morning of June 5 having played a Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka, the previous night.
"This is news to us that Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik has played in a DDCA affiliated tournament. We haven't received any prior intimation from the state association that a foreign cricketer is playing in an Indian club level tournament. The BCCI has already made it a rule that no foreign cricketer is allowed in any domestic tournament (barring IPL)," a senior BCCI official told PTI on Tuesday on conditions of anonymity.
When DDCA secretary S K Bansal was contacted, he seemed ignorant about the BCCI diktat.
"We never had an idea that we need to seek BCCI permission for Malik's inclusion in Lala Raghubir Trophy. In fact, he played in another tournament in Delhi last year and there was no permission was sought then," DDCA secretary S K Bansal explained.
The rule of not allowing any foreign players in local leagues and invitation tournaments came into effect from last three years.
Incidentally, before the BCCI diktat Sri Lankan pacer Chaminda Vaas played for Mohun Bagan in CAB's JC Mukherjee T20 tournament in 2009 while Bangladesh spinner Mohammed Rafique played for Kalighat in an A N Ghosh Trophy final against Sporting Union in 2008.