- Says he does not want to be part of political tension between Pakistan and India
Former England off-spinner Monty Panesar has pulled out of the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), saying he does not want to be part of the "political tension between Pakistan and India" as it would make him "uncomfortable".
The former cricketer confirmed the development in a tweet, saying he does not want to be “in the middle of this (political tension between the two countries).”
“I have decided not to participate in the KPL because of the political tensions between India and Pakistan," said Monty in a tweet. “I don't want to be in the middle of this, it would make me feel uncomfortable.”
Monty was due to feature for KPL's Kotli Lions, to be led by wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.
His decision to withdraw from the tournament comes after accusations by another international cricketer, former South African player Herschelle Gibbs, that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) threatened players participating in the KPL against entry in India for any cricket-related activity.
“Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20. Also threatening me by saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket related work. Ludicrous,” Gibbs had posted in a tweet on Saturday.
However, Tillakaratne Dilshan, former Sri Lanka captain, has said that he would take part in the KPL, despite the threats.
After Gibbs' accusations, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also reacted strongly to reports that the BCCI is preventing foreign cricketers from taking part in the KPL.
“The PCB considers that the BCCI has brought the game into disrepute by issuing warnings to multiple ICC Members to stop their retired cricketers from featuring in the Kashmir Premier League, further threatening they will not be allowed entry into India for cricket-related work.”
Accusing the Indian cricket board of politicising cricket, the PCB announced to raise the matter with the international cricket governing body.
In response on Sunday, the BCCI maintained that it is within its rights to act in a manner that was best for the cricketing ecosystem in India.
“While one can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the statement made by a former player who has figured in a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) investigation into match-fixing earlier, the PCB must understand that even if Gibb’s statement is assumed to be true, the BCCI would be well within their rights to take decisions concerning the cricketing ecosystem in India.
“The fact that the Indian cricketing ecosystem is the most sought after for cricketing opportunities globally, should not be envied by the PCB.”
The tournament will start on August 6 with six franchises competing against each other. The tournament is due to end on August 16.