Shahid Afridi: ‘We should try to invite Indian payers for PSL’

Speaking at a function of his foundation, in Lahore, Afridi said that he knew that Indian players had contracts, which didn’t allow them to play in other foreign T20 leagues.

Shahid Afridi also said that the increased number of foreign players coming to Pakistan, for the playoffs and final, was exciting.   -  AP

Flamboyant Pakistan all-rounder, Shahid Afridi believes that Indian cricketers should also be invited to play in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 event.

Speaking at a function of his foundation, in Lahore, Afridi said that he knew that Indian players had contracts, which didn’t allow them to play in other foreign T20 leagues.

“We should at least try to invite them for the PSL. I know it is difficult that they will come, as they only play in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, we should invite them for the next edition of the PSL,” he said. The former Pakistan captain’s remarks comes at a time, when India has not played a full bilateral series with Pakistan, since 2008.

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Afridi, who was injured during the course of the third PSL, which eventually led to his franchise, Karachi Kings, failing to reach the final, also said that the increased number of foreign players coming to Pakistan, for the playoffs and final, was exciting.

“It is a very big step forward, but I also believe that in the future, only those foreign players should be invited for the PSL, who agree to also come and play in Pakistan, when required,” he added.

Afridi said that with more international players coming to Pakistan, for the PSL it will eventually also lead to international teams returning to the country, for bilateral series.

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No top Test teams have toured Pakistan, since March 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team, in Lahore, leading to Pakistan being isolated as an international venue, until now. Since the attack, Pakistan has been forced to play all its bilateral home series in the UAE, or other neutral venues.

However, since 2017, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had made concerted efforts to bring international players and events to Pakistan, with two of the PSL playoffs being held in Lahore, successfully, on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the final is scheduled at the National Stadium, in Karachi, on Sunday.

In 2017, the PSL final was held in Lahore, followed by a visit by the World Eleven side, to Lahore, for a three-match T20I series, and then Sri Lanka also came for a lone T2I0 game, also in Lahore.

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Afridi minced no words in stating that only those overseas players should be part of the PSL, in future, who respect the need and right of Pakistan to host international matches.

He said the decision to invite the West Indies, for a three T20I match series, in Karachi, was also a positive move by the PCB. He also advised the PCB to ensure that more one-day matches were organized in the country, as he felt too many T20 matches were being held in Pakistan.

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