Former South Africa opener Herschelle Gibbs has accused the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of “threatening” him of denying him all cricketing activities in the future in India if he participates in the upcoming Twenty20 league in Kashmir Premier League, which is set to commence on Friday, August 6 in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK).
It is a well-known fact that India and Pakistan are not on good terms due to constant political hostilities. However, The 47-year-old Gibbs still choose to play for the Overseas Warriors in the six-team Kashmir Premier League, which would run from Aug. 6-17. It includes several retired international cricketers like Herschelle Gibbs, Matt Prior, Phil Mustard, Owais Shah, Tenu Best, and Monty Panesar. Pakistan speedster Wasim Akram is the founding vice-president while Shahid Afridi is the brand ambassador of the league. The KPL is accredited by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the puppet government of POK, and the Government of Punjab, Pakistan.
The former Protea batsman took to Twitter to accuse the Indian board. He accused the BCCI of “trying to prevent me playing” in the inaugural edition of the league.
“Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20 . Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous,” Herschelle Gibbs tweeted.
Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20 . Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous 🙄
— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) July 31, 2021
India and Pakistan share a deadly history, they have fought in numerous armed conflicts since their independence. The future of Muslim-majority Kashmir was left unresolved at the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Moreover, tensions have been high between Pakistan and India since New Delhi unilaterally changed the status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is split between Pakistan and India but both countries claim its entirety.
Pakistan has reduced diplomatic ties with India since then, vowing that there will be no peace talks with India until article 370 is reinstated. Pakistan also wants Kashmiri people to be given the right to self-determination under a 1948 U.N. resolution that called for a referendum on whether Kashmiris wanted to merge with Pakistan or India.
Although The PCB said it will raise the matter at the appropriate International Cricket Council forum, BCCI has every right to stand against it, The Kashmir premier league itself is a symbol of the political agenda of certain vested interested groups. It is yet another attempt of Pakistan to trigger India. Kashmir occupied by Pakistan is a contested territory claimed by both sides. Politics should not come in the way of sports and conducting a sports event in a contested sensitive place can take ugly turns. BCCI has the right to present its objection in all forms.