KPL president ready to help India organise cricket league in Srinagar

Kashmir Premier League (KPL)’s President Arif Malik speaks during an interview with Geo News in Islamabad. — Photo by author

ISLAMABAD: Kashmir Premier League (KPL)’s President Arif Malik has offered support to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) if it is willing to host a KPL-like league in Srinagar.

In an exclusive interview with Geo News on Friday, Malik said KPL won’t mind if BCCI organises a cricket league in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are the promoters of cricket. We won’t mind if BCCI organises a cricket league in Srinagar. In fact, we are ready to help and share expertise with BCCI if they want to organise a tournament in [IIoJK] similar to KPL,” the president said.

“As far as my invitation to Virat Kohli for KPL is concerned, it was just to depict a peaceful image of Azad Kashmir,” he clarified.

The second edition of KPL is scheduled to take place in the scenic cricket stadium of Muzaffarabad from August 1 to 14.

‘Financial concerns are cleared’

Malik said all financial chaos has been cleared and the league is all set to move forward.

“There were financial concerns of franchises related to the first edition but all issues are now settled. The KPL management has formed a League Council which will look into financial and other important matters of KPL,” he shared.

Foreign players’ participation

The KPL head disclosed that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has allowed them to draft only foreign players who retired five years ago.

“PCB gave us permission to draft foreign cricketers who retired five years ago. Now, the issue is that franchises are not interested to draft foreign cricketers under such restrictions,” he shared the concern.

“We’re in talks with PCB to allow current players of associate nations,” he added.

PCB’s centrally contracted players

PCB’s 33 centrally-contracted players are unlikely to feature in the upcoming season of KPL.

“Sixteen players in the squad to tour the Netherlands, means their availability is impossible. But, we have asked PCB to allow the remaining contracted players,” he said.

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