Millennium Post

Pakistan players likely to be part of IPL 2013

Former PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has said that the BCCI's top brass has assured him that the Pakistan players will be allowed to play in the next edition of the Indian Premier League in 2013.

Butt met with former Indian Cricket Board president Sharad Pawar and IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla last week in the capital.

The meeting was organised by the PCB ahead of current chief Zaka Ashraf's visit to India for today's IPL final in Chennai.

'With the consent of the incumbent PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, I met Rajiv Shukla and Sharad Pawar, and discussed the progress on the Indo-Pak cricketing relations,' Butt said.

'In Delhi, Rajiv Shukla assured me that Pakistani players will be allowed to play in the next (2013) IPL edition,' Butt told the 'Dawn'.

Butt's three-year tenure at the top was a tumultuous one as the relationship between Pakistan and India hit a low following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Following the attack, bilateral ties between the two countries were severed, and Pakistan players have not been a part of the IPL since.

If they were not enough, a team from Pakistan was not invited to participate in the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20).

But things seem to be changing now. Butt has said that he has updated Ashraf on the talks he has had with their Indian counterparts.

Before leaving for India, Ashraf said he is hopeful of a fruitful visit.

'Their invitation (to IPL final) is a strong clue that both countries are moving towards having good relations. This is rare, in the past no such invitation was extended. So I am hopeful that I will have a good meeting with the BCCI officials,' Ashraf said.
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