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ICC chief Abbas wants BCCI to consider Pak players for IPL

Source: PTI
May 25, 2016 10:34 IST
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India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni shakes hands with his Pakistan counterpart Shahid Afridi at the end of a match

IMAGE: India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni shakes hands with his Pakistan counterpart Shahid Afridi at the end of a match. Photograph: Solaris Images

International Cricket Council President Zaheer Abbas has said that he would ask the BCCI top brass to consider having Pakistani players back in the Indian Premier League when he comes to India to watch the summit clash of the lucrative league in Bangalore on Sunday.

Abbas told the media in Lahore that if Pakistani players were included in the IPL, "it would raise the importance and status of the league".

The former Pakistan captain will be flying to Bangalore this week to watch the final of the IPL on the invitation of the new BCCI President Anurag Thakur. Abbas also called for the revival of bilateral cricket ties between Pakistan and India.

"I have accepted the invitation (to watch the IPL final) and it is a good opportunity for me to again highlight the importance of resuming bilateral cricket ties although they are obviously subject to government clearances," he said.

A number of Pakistani cricketers took part in the inaugural edition of the IPL but after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008 the BCCI stopped inviting them for the lucrative league which is now in its ninth year.

Talking about the desirability of resumption of bilateral cricketing ties, Abbas said everyone wanted to see Pakistan and India play against each other as it's the most-watched cricket contest in the world.

"I think any government hurdles in the way of having a bilateral series should be removed," he added.

Abbas is set to step down as ICC President at end of July and is expected to be given an important assignment in the PCB after that.

Since 2007, the two countries have not played a bilateral series except for short series of three ODIs and two T20 Internationals in the winter of 2012/13 when Pakistan undertook a tour of India.

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