CSA moots open­ing lo­cal leagues to Pak­ista­nis

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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

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