OHANNESBURG: India’s decision to put on hold all Indo-Pak cricketing exchanges has now been extended to the commentary box, with Pakistan pace OHANNESBURG: India’s decision to put on hold all Indo-Pak cricketing exchanges has now been extended to the commentary box, with Pakistan pace
The government’s decision puts Akram in a fix since he is a bowling consultant for IPL team Knight Riders and is scheduled to fly to New Delhi for the last three days of a camp being held in Gurgaon.
The IPL, incidentally, suspended contracts of Pakistani players ahead of this year’s edition in a fallout of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
TOI had first reported that the government was reluctant to involve Pakistani players and experts in BCCI events and that Akram may face the heat if hired by KR.
“Yes, I know about the decision but I don’t know if the government is involved. Let me find out what is happening,” Akram told TOI on Sunday.
Sources, however, said Akram would go ahead with his plans to visit the KR camp in his role as consultant.
The Pak legend, though, will be joining the Knight Riders camp in Gurgaon and will be leaving on Tuesday to be in the camp for three days before flying back to Lahore.
The camp had been extended by a day to suit his schedule. Interestingly, in spite of the governments efforts, there will be a Pakistan presence in the Champions League: Sussex’s Pakistani seamer Yasir Arafat, who has been named in the Sussex Sharks squad. It remains to be seen if the government objects to his presence.
The broadcasters for the Champions League, ESPN-Star Sports, maintain that since no Pakistani player was part of the event, Akram too was not on the panel. But Pakistani media quoted sources as saying that the broadcasters were advised by the government to avoid unnecessarily inviting former and present Pakistan cricketers. A top Indian board source, meanwhile, stressed that he didn’t know of any government directive to this effect.
Akram stands to lose out on two ends now, because according to the media report, he was invited by the Pakistan Cricket Board to supervise a fast bowlers coaching camp in Lahore in October but had declined the offer due to his CL commentary commitments.