“We asked them about the participation of Pakistani players,

but they did not give any response.”

–Subhan Ahmed, chief operating officer of the

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), 2010.

Indian Premier League debuted in 2008 and since then it has became a worldwide phenomena. Modeled on the football leagues in Europe and South America, it combined the shorter T20 format with the glitz of Bollywood to create a domestic league that generated billions. The inaugural edition featured 11 Pakistani players who performed well on and off the field in India. Sohail Tanvir even won the Purple Cap for being the top wicket taking bowler. However the 2009 Mumbai attacks prompted the authorities to pull of Pakistani players for security reason. And in 2010 no team bid on Pakistani players, despite them being on the rooster. The snub by the Indian cricket board meant that for the remaining seasons, no Pakistani player has featured in IPL.

The lucrative business model of the IPL leads to its replication in other countries, and tournaments like the Bangladesh Premier League and the Big Bash League have made a name for themselves. It was a matter of time before Pakistan also initiated its own T20 league – it would generate revenue and give Pakistani players a chance to play. The inauguration of the Pakistan Super League is almost at hand, a fact that would not have occurred if Pakistani players hadn’t been excluded from the IPL.