Amidst the raging controversy over Kashmir Premier League, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has responded to the BCCI’s request to not recognise the disputed tournament that is being organised by Pakistan Cricket Board(PCB) in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Issuing a clarification on the issue, the International Cricket Council said it is not under the jurisdiction of the apex cricketing body as it has not been recognised as an international tournament.
In an interview with Pakistan’s Geo TV, an ICC official said: “The tournament is not under ICC’s jurisdiction as it is not an international cricket tournament.” The ICC has deemed that the so-called KPL is a domestic tournament.
As per ICC rules, each national federation shall have the sole and exclusive right to sanction the staging of domestic matches within its territory. The ICC can only intervene if matches are to be held in the territory of an associate member’s territory. All board members have the authority to approve and conduct domestic matches within its territory without obtaining ICC approval.
The BCCI has earlier written a letter to the ICC asking it to not recognise the Kashmir Premier League, citing the disputed status of the region. It also reportedly requested foreign boards to ban their current and former players from participating in the controversial league. Speaking on the matter, a BCCI official had said that they were following the government’s line on the matter as it concerns national interest. The official further added that the board has no issues with cricketers playing the Pakistan Super League (PSL) but it cannot support the KPL as it will be held in PoK.
The tournament is all set to start on August 6 and will see participation from Pakistani cricketers such as Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and others. The tournament was to witness participation from foreign cricketers as well but after BCCI’s firm stand on the issue, many are reportedly reconsidering their decision to join the disputed league. In fact, former England cricketer Monty Panesar had pulled out of the PoK league to avert risk to his career.
The controversy surrounding the controversial PoK league
The controversy had erupted after Herschelle Gibbs, a former South Indian cricketer, claimed that he was informed of the same following his decision to participate in the cricket league. Soon after BCCI made its stance clear on the matter, a raft of Pakistani supporters, including cricketers, had a meltdown for the Indian cricket board decided that cricketers who participate in the Kashmir Premier League in Pakistan will not be permitted to enter India for cricket related work.
Responding to BCCI’s stand, Pakistan Cricket Board said: “Such conduct from the BCCI is completely unacceptable, against the preamble of the Spirit of Cricket and sets a dangerous precedence, which can neither be tolerated nor ignored. The PCB will raise this matter at the appropriate ICC forum and also reserves the right to take any further action that is available to us within the ICC charter.”
However, not just BCCI but even PSL franchises have a problem with the organisation of the Kashmir Premier League. They had written to the PCB expressing concerns about the potential impact of the Kashmir Premier League on the country’s foremost T20 tournament. According to the reports, ahead of the launch of PSL in 2016, the Pakistan Cricket Board had allegedly promised the franchises that no other T20 league would be allowed in Pakistan.