SRINAGAR: International Cricket Council President Zaheer Abbas said he would ask the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to include Pakistan players in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Former Pakistan captain Abbas, who is also one of the finest batsmen of his era, will visit Bangalore on May 29 to watch the final of the ongoing ninth season of the IPL after he was invited by the newly elected BCCI president Anurag Thakur.
Abbas said the inclusion of Pakistan players will “raise the importance and status of the league”.
‘The Asian Bradman’ also called for the revival of bilateral cricket ties between Pakistan and India.
“I have accepted the invitation to watch the IPL final and it is a good opportunity for me to again highlight the importance of resuming bilateral cricket ties although they are obviously subject to government clearances,” he said.
A number of Pakistani cricketers took part in the inaugural edition of the IPL but after the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008, the BCCI stopped inviting them for the league which is now in its ninth year.
Abbas said everyone wanted to see Pakistan and India play against each other as it’s the most-watched cricket contest in the world.
“I think any government hurdles in the way of having a bilateral series should be removed,” he added.
Abbas is set to step down as ICC president at end of July and is expected to be given an important assignment in the PCB after that.
Since 2007, the two countries have not played a full bilateral series except for a short series of three ODIs and two T20 Internationals in the winter of 2012-13 when Pakistan toured India.
(With PTI inputs)