When the Indian Premier League was launched in 2008, fans celebrated the fact that cricketers from several nations will play together in the same team.
The first season saw the participation of players from Pakistan as the likes of Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir, and Umar Gul turned out for their respective franchises. However, that was also the last time any cricketer from Pakistan played the tournament. From the 2009 edition, the participation of Pakistani cricketers was banned due to political tensions between the nations.
This has led to several players from both nations missing out playing in their respective T20 leagues. The IPL has grown leaps and bounds with several cricketing nations putting special focus on the participation of their players in the league, Indian cricketers have maintained their distance from the Pakistan Super League.
While players from England, New Zealand, West Indies, or Australia have gained valuable experience while playing in the IPL, Pakistan youngsters have missed out. Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram is not happy with the fact that Pakistan youngsters are missing out on the chance to play in the IPL and in fact, wants to see Indian cricketers playing the PSL.
“I have always believed that sports shouldn’t be a victim of politics but that is a government subject of both countries and it won’t be apt for me to say anything. But as you said in the question itself, yes IPL is one of the most competitive domestic leagues in the cricketing world and I wish Pakistan youngsters get to be a part of it and I also wish to see Indian players playing in PSL,” Akram told ANI.
Akram also talked about the comparisons between Babar Azam and Virat Kohli, wishing the Pakistan captain to come a lot more consistent like his Indian counterpart.
“I wouldn’t like to make any comparison but having said that, I would like to add that Babar Azam is an exceptional talent, he has shown his excellence in all formats, but in patches. I would be very happy if he can see the comparison positively and becomes consistent in his performance like Kohli,” he said. ( HT )