With the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 edition about to kickstart, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly reached the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE, which is one of the 3 venues hosting the IPL 2020, to take stock of the preparations. Sourav Ganguly took to his official Instagram handle to share pictures from his visit to the venue. Captioning his post: “Famous Sharjah stadium all set to host IPL 2020”, the BCCI chief shared three pictures inspecting the ground facilities.
However, what took the social media users by a surprise was that in one the pictures shared, the former Indian captain chose to blur an image comprising of Pakistani cricketers’ in the background. Reportedly, the picture blurred by the BCCI chief comprised the likes of former Pakistan great Javed Miandad, Rashid Latif, Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Mahmood, Danish Kaneria, etc.
The cricket boards of the two countries have never shared a very cordial relationship, mainly owing to the strained border tensions between India and Pakistan. India has time and again reiterated that no bilateral series can be played between the two nations until tensions at the border are eased.
India has not played a Test series in Pakistan for more than 14 years, and Pakistan has not visited India for almost eight years. Though they have played each other at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) events like the World Cup and the Champions Trophy.
And the only time Pakistani players appeared in the IPL was in the opening edition in 2008. 11 Pakistani cricketers had represented various franchises then.
According to reports, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) will be the live-streamed in 120 countries worldwide. Pakistan is, however, not included in this list of 120 countries, said the report.
Sharjah is the 1st of the 3 venues that Ganguly has visited and he is likely to assess the preparations at Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well. The BCCI president had landed in Dubai on September 9 and completed his mandatory 6-day quarantine period before heading to Sharjah.
Meanwhile, the Sharjah Cricket Stadium will be hosting 12 matches till the league stage in IPL 2020. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will meet in the 1st match of the tournament on September 22 at the historic venue which has been a witness to a number of India versus Pakistan thrillers in the past.