M A I N   N E W S

BCCI nod to Pak team for Champions League

Sialkot stallions

  • The Shoaib Malik-led Twenty-20 Cup team is based in Pakistan Punjab
  • Established in 2004, it includes international players like Imran Nazir and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan
  • The Stallions are the most successful team in Pakistani Twenty-20 history, having won five consecutive Faysal Bank Twenty20 Cups between 2005-06 and 2009-10

Chennai, May 12
In a decision which can have implications on the revival of Indo-Pak bilateral cricket ties, the BCCI today cleared the decks for the inclusion of a team from Pakistan in the Champions League Twenty20 for the first time since the event's inception. The BCCI Working Committee decision will see Pakistan's domestic T20 champions Sialkot Stallions, led by Shoaib Malik, participate in the event scheduled in October once given the go ahead by the CLT20 Governing Council.

The move indicates a thaw in Indo-Pak bilateral cricket ties which had been snapped after the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. It could also now pave the way for participation Pakistani players in the IPL for the first time after 2008. "The Working Committee has decided to invite a team from Pakistan to play in Champions League Twenty20 to be held in October," BCCI President N Srinivasan told reporters after the meeting here.

“This is a recommendation that the BCCI will make to the Governing Council. CLT20 is owned by BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa. So we will recommend to the GC that the BCCI has no objection and is prepared to invite a Pakistan team in the Champions League,” he added.

“CLT20 will be played in India. As far as inviting a Pakistani team is concerned, it will be done by the Governing Council. The BCCI will make the recommendation to the Governing Council which will decide on the matter.”

The move is expected to be received with much applause from across the border as the Pakistan Cricket Board had been pushing for the inclusion of its sides since the inaugural edition of the Champions League in 2009.

Asked if the decision marked a change of stance towards Pakistan, Srinivasan said, “This matter came up in the Governing Council of the Champions League. So, there was discussion around the composition of the tournament this year and on the number of teams and who will be invited. So, a feeling was expressed that a team from Pakistan could be invited.”

On whether it was the first step towards reviving bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan, the Board chief stated, “Today, the decision is limited to the Champions League. So, I don’t want to say anything beyond it.”

Pakistan have not played any bilateral series in India ever since the Mumbai terror attacks, though the two countries have come face to face in multi-national events such as the World Cup. The Pakistan Cricket Board had been holding talks with the BCCI over early resumption of ties for the past few months. — PTI





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