PCB chief Ehsan Mani wants BCCI to allow Indian players to take part in overseas T20 tournaments

PCB chief Ehsan Mani wants BCCI to allow Indian players to take part in overseas T20 tournaments

The fourth edition of the PSL got underway on Thursday.

Ehsan Mani
Ehsan Mani. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) kicked off at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Two-time and defending champions Islamabad United beat fancied Lahore Qalandars by 5 wickets in the opening match with Faheem Ashraf’s all-round show earning him the Man of the Match award. Friday will see two matches with Karachi Kings taking on Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi meeting Quetta Gladiators.

The PSL has grown as a popular tournament in just three years since its inception and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ehsan Mani, who took over a few months ago, was happy to preside over things for the first time. The business end of the fourth edition will be held in Pakistan like it was in PSL 3 while the organisers have planned to hold the entire tournament in Pakistan next year.

Mani, 73, spoke to The Indian Express on a variety of issues including the PSL and the upcoming World Cup in May-July. He also spoke on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) not allowing its players to take part in any other T20 tournament in the world apart from the Indian Premier League (IPL), saying he wanted to see a change in the policy.

“I hope things will change over time. There are a lot of overseas players coming to play in India. So I think there should be some reciprocity there, but that doesn’t seem to be,” Mani, who also served as the president of the International Cricket Council between 2003-06, said.

Pakistani players used to take part in IPL earlier but it stopped

The BCCI had started the IPL in 2008 in a counter strike to the rebellious Indian Cricket League and soon its popularity shot through the roof. The cash-rich tournament completes 11 years this year and several other countries have followed the model by hosting their own T20 leagues. Players from Pakistan used to take part in the IPL earlier but problems between the two countries have stopped it. Pakistan then came up with its own league in the form of the PSL in 2016.

“The last three years have really helped build the PSL brand. And we expect it to be absolutely world-class again this year. We have got nearly 45 overseas players signed up for it. So it’s obviously popular,” Ehsan Mani said, adding that he would have loved to see Indian players also taking part in the PSL.

“It’s a great pity that we can’t have Indian players playing because they are busy with their own. But I would love to have them on board.”

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