PSL is all set to kick off on February 9, 2017 in the deserts of the United Arab Emirates. Superstars from various cricketing countries have all confirmed their participation in this event. However the biggest name is missing from that roster of nations – Indian Cricketers.
Relations between these two neighbors and giants in the cricket world have always been rocky. The geo-political nature of the issues have always cast aspersions of other relationships between Indian and Pakistan.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has always toed the Indian government line of cutting off cricketing ties with Pakistan whenever there are political issues around the two countries. Such has been the frostiness that India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral Test match series since 2007-08.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has recently forwarded an invitation to the BCCI to allow Indian cricketers like MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli to be a part of the PSL. PCB chairman Shahrayar Khan also visited India to have a one-on-one with BCCI chief Shashank Manohar to discuss the possibility of resuming bilateral ties between the two nations.
Pakistani players had featured in the first ever IPL back in 2008 but after that they haven’t been allowed to take part in that tournament.
At this juncture resuming cricketing ties or allowing Indian players to participate in the PSL looks to be a fruitless exercise. Cricket can be a binding element between the people of the two nations but the issues don’t emanate from them. It is the establishments of the two nations which need to provide a fix on the issues blighting both countries.
There are some who believe that politics and cricket cannot be mixed. There are others who believe it’s going to be very difficult to separate the two. Whatever is the case, the fact is that it’s difficult to see the Indian cricketers participate in PSL. In fact, truth be told, Indian cricketers haven’t played in any of the cricket leagues around the world, so there has been no Big Bash League, NatWest T20 League or Ram Slam T20 either for them.
And given how things went on PCB chief Shahryar Khan’s recent visit to India, it looks like things won’t be changing too much too soon.