Islamabad: Pakistani cricketer Azhar Mahmood, who recently became the first from his country to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2008, has called on the cricket boards of India and Pakistan to reconcile their issues and allow other Pakistani players to play in both countries.
“I cannot really answer as to why the Pakistan players are still not a part of IPL, but I think the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) needs to look into this,” The Dawn quoted Mahmood, as saying.
Mahmood, who is not a contracted player of the PCB, is part of the IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab.
“I don’t think the doors were ever closed for professionals from Pakistan to be part of the IPL,” the 37-year-old, who is now British citizen, said, citing the presence of Pakistani umpires Aleem Dar, commentator Rameez Raja and bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders Wasim Akram in this edition as examples.
It has been more than a decade since Mahmood last played in India, in the Pepsi Cup, which Pakistan eventually won.
“I played in Mumbai for the first time the other day and the crowd was amazing. I have always loved playing cricket here,” Mahmood said.