Pakistani cricketers in IPL next year?
According to a report in 'Daily Dawn', former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Bhatt has said that the BCCI has assured him that Pakistan players will participate in next IPL.
Stating that he had a fruitful discussion with the Indian Premier League chief Rajiv Shukla, former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt said that he has been assured that the Pakistani players` would be allowed to take part in the next edition of the IPL.
According to a report in `Daily Dawn`, Butt briefed his successor, Zaka Ashraf on the discussions he had with Shukla and former BCCI president and current ICC chief Sharad Pawar, recently in New Delhi during his visit to India.
"Rajiv Shukla has assured me that Pakistani players would be allowed to take part in the next IPL," Butt said.
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The PCB had urged Butt to hold discussions with the Indian Board (BCCI) on resumption of the cricketing ties between the two nations.
Butt said that the recent announcement by the BCCI that Pakistan would be allowed to send its Twenty20 champions team for the Champions League was a good progress and had made him believe that the discussions were moving in the right direction.
Ashraf, who will himself be leaving for India today to watch the IPL final in Chennai scheduled tomorrow after the BCCI extended an invitation to him, told the media that the visit would be a good opportunity to discuss the resumption of bilateral ties with the Indian officials.
"Things have been moving in the right direction in recent times and the recent thaw will pave the way for resumption of bilateral ties," he said.
"The BCCI has already taken the first step by including our team in the Champions League. And during my visit to India negotiations are expected to happen on the resumption of bilateral ties as well," Ashraf added.
Ashraf said that Pakistan could offer the BCCI to host a bilateral series at a neutral venue if the Indians refuse to send their team to Pakistan on security grounds.
"The BCCI may also host Pakistan but whatever decision is taken it will be in best interest of Pakistan cricket," said Ashraf.
Interestingly, Shukla during a recent private visit to Pakistan had made it clear that whenever a bilateral series will be held it would either be in India or Pakistan and not in any neutral venue as that would serve no purpose to either of the country.