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ISLAMABAD: The president Kashmir Premier League (KPL), Arif Malik, said on Saturday that India’s strong opposition to the KPL had made the holding of the cricketing event a ‘test case’ for Pakistan.

Speaking at a presser along with Chairman Kashmir Committee Shehryar Afridi, he said that the government had decided to invite only six foreign players to the tournament, but after India’s constant opposition and the act of poisoning the international cricketers had forced them to make overtures to 10 to 15 international players.

“Instead of six players, now we are going to make overtures to 10 to 15 international players, so that they could demonstrate their cricketing skills in the competition whose first edition will feature six teams,” he added.

He said while Pakistan was giving Kashmiri cricketers an opportunity to demonstrate their talent, India, on the other hand, had spurned them.

Afridi said the KPL had become a nightmare for the Indian rulers, adding first they made the lives of people of held Kashmir a nightmare by snatching their rights particularly after the revocation of Article 370 of their constitution and now they want to deny them sporting rights.

He said that foreign visitors would get to know during their stay in the AJK that there was a clear difference between life on both sides of the Line of Control (LOC).

He expressed the hope that the foreign guests would definitely be impressed by the people of the AJK.

“The tournament will also project a good image of the people of Kashmir to the world,” he said.

The KPL president expressed the optimism that players featuring in the event will go on to play for Pakistan at the international level.

“I appeal to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to make sure that sports are promoted and politics discouraged,” the KPL president said.

Afridi made it clear that the hostile attitude of India would not make Pakistan lose its heart, adding, we will expose Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fascist policies to the world instead. He said the event will provide Kashmiri cricketers an opportunity to mingle with foreign players and learn from them.

“KPL is an initiative, which will make people living on both sides of the LoC feel proud,” he said and asserted that it was Pakistan who had laid bare the wicked character of the Indian government and its cricket board, BCCI.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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