CSA moots opening local leagues to Pakistanis
PAKISTAN and South African cricket officials yesterday agreed on more cricketing cooperation after deciding on a short limited overs series later this month.
Pakistan will visit South Africa for a short tour with three one- day and two Twenty20 matches to fill the gap that was created by a shortened India tour to the Proteas in December.
India were initially due to play three Tests, seven one-days and two Twenty20s but the tour was shortened to two Tests and three one-days, allowing South Africa to invite Pakistan.
Pakistan Cricket Board ( PCB) interim chairman Najam Sethi and Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the short trip on the sidelines of one-day series between the two nations in Abu Dhabi.
Sethi said South Africa will allow Pakistani players to feature in their domestic cricket.
“Our players will play in South African domestic cricket and that will give them more cricket. I have talked to Lorgat and he has promised me to encourage our players to play in their local leagues,” Sethi told reporters.
Sethi said Pakistani players, unable to play at home due to security concerns since terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, will learn by playing in South Africa.
“If South Africa let our players into the local leagues then it will give them good outing and good education,” said Sethi, hoping India will also allow Pakistani players to feature in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).
“My concern is that our players should play in India in the IPL and I will talk (about that) when I meet (the) Indian cricket board chief next week,” said Sethi.
Pakistani players featured in the inaugural IPL in 2008 but were then barred from it in the wake of strained relations between the two nations since terrorists attacks on Mumbai, which India blamed on Pakistan.
Lorgat, also a former chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), said the CSA will consider accommodating Pakistani players.
“I did suggest that we could look into (the possibility) that Pakistani players will play in our T20 league which is very popular,” said Lorgat.
Lorgat disagreed that India will not be happy with the fillin arrangements.
“I don’t see why it should, Pakistan was available and it’s a bilateral arrangement between the nations, and we are simply delighted that we can get them to South Africa,” said Lorgat. – Sapa-AFP