The PCB might have decided to give a go ahead to its players for participating in next year’s Indian Premier League, but the board is yet to approach the Sports Ministry for the government’s clearance, a must for the cricketers to be a part of the cash-rich Twenty20 event.
Pakistan Sports Minister Aftab Shah Jillani said that until now the Pakistan Cricket Board had not approached the Ministry for clearance.
“The fact is that the Sports Ministry gets directly involved when a national team is supposed to take part in any event in India. But since the IPL is a private league it is a matter between the Pakistan and Indian cricket boards,” Jillani said.
“We will only be able to arrange for the clearance once the PCB asks for it. The PCB is yet to apply for a clearance for the players, who are planning to take part in the IPL,” he said.
Jillani stated that since cricket was a high profile sport, the ministry would independently be seeking advice from the foreign ministry on the issue.
“If the government is not involved and the two boards handle it themselves then they are also responsible for ensuring security and well being of the players while playing in India,” the Sports Minster said.
The Pakistan players got a sigh of relief when the PCB recently said it would not object to its cricketers taking part in the third edition of the IPL after they were forced to sit out of this year’s event due to tensions between the two countries after the Mumbai terror attacks.
PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt also confirmed the board is yet to approach the government to seek clearance for Pakistan cricketers to travel to India even though it had already issued ‘No Objection Certificates’ to two players.
“We have already issued NOC’s on our part to Abdul Razzaq and Umar Gul to take part in the IPL next season as they have valid contracts. Any player who gets a contract from any franchise will be given NOC’s by us,” Butt said.
“We will approach the government soon but we are confident that this time the government will give clearance.
The situation in the last IPL was very different,” he added.
He also confirmed that as a mater of policy the PCB was keen to see maximum number of Pakistani players taking part in the IPL.
“I have had some discussions with the IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on this issue and they have asked us to submit clearance letter from our government,” Butt said.
The PCB Chairman, however, made it clear that it was seeking foolproof security for its players in India from the IPL authorities.