Shahid Afridi demands inclusion of Indian players in next PSL

Karachi – Flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi believes Indian cricketers should also be invited to play in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Speaking at a function of his foundation in Lahore, Afridi said he knew that Indian players had contracts that didn’t allow them to play in other foreign T20 leagues but an attempt should be made to at least try to invite them for the PSL. “I know it is difficult that they will come as they only play in the Indian Premier League. But we should invite them for the next edition of the PSL,” Afridi said.

The former captain’s remarks come at a time when India has not played a full bilateral series with Pakistan since 2008. Afridi, who was injured during the course of the third PSL which proved decisive in his team Karachi Kings’ failure to reach the final, also said that the increased number of foreign players coming to Pakistan for the playoffs and final was exciting. “It is a very big step forward but I also believe that in future only those foreign players should be invited for the PSL who agree to also come and play in Pakistan when required,” he added. The PSL this year was played over two legs in Dubai and Pakistan.

Afridi said that with more international players coming to Pakistan for the PSL. it will eventually lead to international teams returning to the country for bilateral series. No top test teams have toured Pakistan since March 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore leading to Pakistan being isolated as an international venue until now. Since the attack, Pakistan has been forced to play all its bilateral home series in the UAE or other neutral venues. But since last year, the Pakistan Cricket Board had made concerted efforts to bring international players and events to Pakistan with two of the PSL playoffs being held in Lahore successfully on Tuesday and Wednesday while the final is scheduled at the national stadium in Karachi on Sunday.

Last year the PSL final was held in Lahore followed by a visit by the World XI side to Lahore for a three-match T20 series and then Sri Lanka also came for a lone T20I, also in Lahore.

Afridi minced no words in stating that only those overseas players be part of the PSL in future who respect the need and right of Pakistan to host international matches. He said the decision to invite the West Indies for a three-match T20I series in Karachi was also a positive move by the PCB.

He also advised the PCB to ensure that more one-day matches were organized in the country as he felt too many T20 matches were being held in Pakistan.

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