Former England spinner Monty Panesar has confirmed that he is withdrawing from the inaugural Kashmir Premier League (KPL) due to ‘political tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issues.’ Panesar was set to represent ‘Kotli Lions’ as an overseas player in the inaugural KPL season.
Overseas withdrawals in the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) have begun as former England skipper Monty Panesar has decided to opt-out of the tournament, citing that he does not wish to be in the middle of ‘political tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issues.’ Panesar, who recently featured in the Road Safety World Series T20 competition, was set to represent ‘Kotli Lions’ as an overseas player in the inaugural KPL T20 edition. However, following controversial developments across the past week, the former England spinner has taken to Twitter to confirm that he will not be featuring in the inaugural KPL season.
“I have decided not to participate in the KPL because of the political tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issues. I don't want to be in the middle of this , it would make me feel uncomfortable,” Panesar tweeted on Sunday.
The inaugural KPL season was set to oversee a host of overseas stars but on Saturday, July 31, after former South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs tweeted that he was threatened by the BCCI, all hell broke loose. Gibbs insisted that the BCCI threatened to ban him from cricket-related activities in India if he played in the KPL, and irked by the same, the PCB slammed the Indian board via an explosive media release, questioning BCCI’s integrity.
Meanwhile, reports emerged on Sunday claiming that the BCCI had written to the ICC urging the council to not recognise the Kashmir Premier League. The inaugural KPL season, as things stand, is set to commence on August 6.