Why are Pakistani Cricketers Banned in IPL?

Cricketers from Pakistan cannot play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) right now due to political squabbles between the governments of both countries. Pakistani cricketers banned in IPL cricket has always been a topic for debate among fans of India’s premier league.

Let’s see why Pakistani cricketers are banned from IPL cricket and how ex-players have reacted to the lingering issue across the divide.

Why Pakistani Cricketers Banned in IPL?

Pakistani cricketers banned in IPL cricket started in 2008 after a horror terror attack on an Indian establishment. Terrorists of Pakistani nationality or affiliation crossed into Mumbai, killing at least 160 persons and wounding over 200 more.

India responded swiftly with a blanket ban of all Pakistani players from the IPL, and the restriction has been in place ever since. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also went ahead to restrict the national team from ever playing any game on Pakistani soil.

It has been over a decade-and-a-half and India is yet to play a competitive senior game against Pakistan on their home turf.

Discussions between the cricket governing bodies of both countries continue to hit a brick wall, stifling the appearance of Pakistan cricketers in IPL. Frustrations are quite high at the Pakistani side, with many prominent players voicing their discontent at India’s continued restriction of their players.

Imran Khan Slams ‘Arrogant’ India

Former Pakistan Prime Minister and World Cup-winning cricketer Imran Khan took several digs at India’s handling of the issue. He spoke to a radio house in early 2023 and targeted the Indian cricket board specifically, labelling them as ignorant.

It is unfortunate, the relationship between Pakistan and India. There is a lot of arrogance in the way India now behaves in the cricketing world as a superpower. Because of their ability to generate a lot of funds, lot more than any other country, I think they almost dictate now as a sort of the arrogance of a superpower of who they should play and who they shouldn’t,”

‘Nobody Cares’ – Gavaskar Hits Back at Pakistani Players’ Comments

Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar had a lot to say in response to comments from ex-Pakistani players like Imran Khan. In his paper column, he commented on several issues surrounding the continuous ban of Pakistan players from IPL and other topics:

When two of the top-ranked teams play against each other, then sparks are bound to fly. However, since the IPL began, the animosity between players of the two teams has lessened considerably while the intensity hasn’t reduced one bit and that’s how it should be. Sharing the same change room, hotels and travelling to different venues over a period of six weeks to play has made the players get to know each other better, understand the different cultures and attitudes and approaches to the game,” Gavaskar said.

He also claims a friendlier stance between players since India stopped Pakistani cricketers from featuring in their league:

While there will always be a bit of banter between players, the angry and sometimes vulgar exchanges are a thing of the past. Today, if there are any such issues, it’s invariably between players who don’t play the IPL and thus have a bit of resentment towards the Indian players who play against them. Some of them believe that their achievements are such that they should be getting more than the Indian player, who gets millions through the IPL.

Blaming the media for India’s negative portrayal in the IPL ban saga against Pakistan

Have you ever heard or read any Indian player past or present saying anything about the players from across the border? Frankly, nobody cares, so no Indian that I know has said anything about the players from across the border. It’s simply not our style. If our online media ignores what is said across the border then it will automatically stop, but our media will publish it even if it is pulling a fellow Indian down.”

Top Pakistan Cricketers Who Have Played in the IPL

The ban from IPL cricket didn’t affect some Pakistani players early on as a handful got to feature in the league. Let’s see some top cricketers from Pakistan who played in India’s premier cricket competition and how much they cost at auction:

  • Kamran Akmal – Rajasthan Royals – ₹ 60 lakh
  • Misbah-Ul-Haq – Royal Challengers Bangalore – ₹ 50 lakh
  • Mohammad Asif – Delhi Daredevils – ₹ 2.6 crore
  • Mohammed Hafeez – Kolkata Knight Riders – ₹ 40 lakh
  • Salman Butt – Kolkata Knight Riders – ₹ 40 lakh
  • Shahid Afridi – Deccan Chargers – ₹ 2.7 crore
  • Shoaib Akhtar – Kolkata Knight Riders – ₹ 1.7 crore
  • Shoaib Malik – Delhi Daredevils – ₹ 2 crore
  • Sohail Tanvir – Rajasthan Royals – ₹ 40 lakh
  • Younis Khan – Rajasthan Royals – ₹ 90 lakh

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