Former Indian cricketer Surinder Khanna believes that the participation of Pakistan players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) would be appreciated by fans and players in both countries.
Indian Premier League’s (IPL) governing council’s member, Surinder Khanna, has admitted that he would love to have Pakistani players participate in IPL 2020 but said that the task was next to impossible given the political reasons between the two neighbors.
“As far as Pakistan cricketers’ participation in IPL is concerned, I can assure you that the players from both sides always want to compete with each other. But we need to follow the advisory from the government, whether you like it or not. This is something which is out of our control,” Khanna said in an interview with Cricket Pakistan.
Khanna, who is also a member of the IPL governing council, said that the Indian crowd would openly welcome Pakistan’s star cricketers such as limited overs skipper Babar Azam and bowling stud Shaheen Afridi.
“Who would not want to see the terrific Babar Azam bat or the young pacer [Shaheen] Afridi bowl in the IPL?”
The 64-year-old also backed the idea of a match between IPL and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions, if relations between the two countries improve.
It is very good idea to play matches between the champions of IPL and PSL but this can’t materialise if the relations between Pakistan and India don’t improve, he said.
“People all over the world want to see matches between Pakistan and India and hopefully things will move in a positive direction in the near future.”
He further lauded Azam for his technique and said that he was just as technically sound as India captain Virat Kohli.
“Babar has fans in India as well and, bearing in mind his technique, he is at par with Kohli. It is now a matter of consistency, as Kohli has been doing it for past 10-12 years, and if Babar can continue to play like this he will become more mature,” he said.
He was also impressed with the way Haider Ali performed on his T20I debut against England, in the recently concluded series.
“The other day, I was watching another young batsman [Haider Ali] against England. It was so nice to see him hit the ball so cleanly while also being technically sound,” he said.