ISLAMABAD: The organisers of the first Kashmir Premier League (KPL) are planning to hold player draft on February 10 in the company of Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT) in Jhari Kass (AJK).
KPL president Arif Malik told ‘The News’ that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already issued NOC to the league to stage the extravaganza in late March.
“We are planning to hold the player draft in the company of orphans of KORT. Since the main purpose of the league is to promote the Kashmir cause so our efforts would be to take it as close as possible to the Kashmiri people. There is no better place than the orphanage to hold the draft as they really need our support. Definitely the orphans would be feeling proud to find themselves amongst the legends of the game,” Arif said.
Over 150 players from across the country will be available for the draft including some leading players of the domestic circuit. “All the leading players who are part of the PSL VI would be available for the draft.”
When asked about participation of the foreign players in the KPL, Arif said the decision to include them in the first edition has been cancelled.
“We have decided against inviting any foreign cricketer in the first edition of the KPL. However, we are interested to include foreign players in the second edition to be held next year. We had been getting very encouraging response from the foreign players but we have deferred the matter for the next year.” The KPL president hoped that along with the federal government, the AJK government will also be showing its full support to the KPL.
“We hope the league would prove a real success right from the start. The AJK government would also be there to extend the support to the league. The KPL has no political motive so what we want is to popularise the game in AJK and spot out real talent for future national and international events.”
Arif also said that he was planning to take the KPL to England in the future. “Chances are there that we may take the KPL semi-finals and final to the UK where Kashmiris outnumber all other communities present there. The idea of taking the league to offshore is being discussed with the stakeholders.”
In another development, Shoaib Malik has been named as icon player for Mirpur Royals, Shahid Afridi for Muzaffarabad Tigers, Mohammad Hafeez for Kotli Panthers, Sarfaraz Ahmed as icon player for Oversees Warriors. Mohammad Amir is also in negotiation with Bagh team as an icon player for the KPL. “This trend shows that leading cricketers are showing interest in the league which is a good omen for its success,” Arif added.
Source: The News