Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has shown interest to have Indian cricket superstar Virat Kohli take part in a T20 tournament, modelled after the Indian Premier League, in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Latif, who was recently appointed the competition’s Director of Cricket Operations, echoed the tournament president Arif Malik’s sentiments that Kohli should be invited for the second edition of the tournament.
“We should send an invitation to Virat Kohli but the decision to play lies with the player,” said Latif while in communication with Dawn News. “I had also advised [Najam] Sethi to send invitations to all cricket boards including BCCI for PSL.”
On similar lines, Malik had earlier shown a keen inclination towards inviting Kohli to play the tournament but insisted that it is entirely up to the former India captain whether he wants to take part in it or not. Malik was also open to the idea of Kohli attending the tournament not specifically as a player but in any other capacity if he wanted to.
“We have a clear cut message for across the border. We want to do everything peacefully and keeping that in mind, we are writing a letter to Virat Kohli. He is one of the great players and now even players like Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi are in the ICC rankings. When we talk about peace, all the guys should be on the same page,” Malik said on Facebook.
“We recently saw that [Mohammad] Rizwan gave a very positive message that cricket should be beyond everything. Which is why we are writing a letter to Virat Kohli. Either he can come and play or at least attend one or two matches. It is up to him whether he wants to be a part of the tournament as a player or as a chief guest. We want to bring people of both sides together so that we can spread the message of peace.”
It is to be noted that India’s male cricketers are not allowed to play any league cricket outside the IPL – be it the Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League or the Bangladesh Premier League. However, over the last couple of years, India’s female cricketers have been allowed to play the Big Bash League with star players Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and more participating in the BBL and their franchises.
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