Former England cricketer Monty Panesar has withdrawn from the inaugural edition of Kashmir Premier League (KPL) 2021 due to threats from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Taking to Twitter, the former spinner wrote: “I have decided not to participate in the KPL because of the political tensions between India and Pakistan over kashmir issues. I don’t want to be in the middle of this ,it would make me feel uncomfortable”.
I have decided not to participate in the KPL because of the political tensions between India and Pakistan over kashmir issues. I don't want to be in the middle of this , it would make me feel uncomfortable. #KPL2021 #Kashmir #india #Cricket #Pakistan #ENGvIND #TheHundred
— Monty Panesar (@MontyPanesar) August 1, 2021
Talking to YouTube channel Sports Yaari, the English cricketer said the BCCI had “advised” him that if he played in the tournament, the “consequences” of his decision could include not being granted a visa to India in the future and not being allowed to work in the country.
“[It is] the start of my sports journalist career, I want to do broadcasting and commentary all over the world. Whatever opportunity or work I get in India, I want to do that. I cannot jeopardise it,” he said, adding that he could “face difficulty” by taking part in KPL.
Earlier, South Africa’s former cricketer Herschelle Gibbs exposed the BCCI’s attempts to disrupt the KPL 2021.
“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,” he wrote in a tweet.
He further revealed that India has threatened him to allow him entry into India for any cricket related work if he takes part in KPL.
Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif had taken to Twitter last week, saying the BCCI was “warning cricket boards that if their former players took part in KPL, they won’t be allowed entry in India or allowed to work in Indian cricket at any level or in any capacity.”
Later, PCB expressed its displeasure over reports of India’s cricket board forcing members of the ICC to withdraw their players from the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), saying that it would raise the issue with the relevant ICC forum.
The PCB said in its statement it would “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”.
The PCB expressed the belief that the BCCI had “breached international norms and the spirit of the gentleman’s game” through its interference in the internal affairs of ICC members.
“The PCB considers that the BCCI has brought the game into disrepute by issuing warnings to multiple ICC members to stop their retired cricketers from featuring in the KPL, further threatening [them that] they will not be allowed entry into India for cricket-related work.
“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 statement reads.