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Pakistani players are missing a big opportunity by not playing IPL: Afridi

He also appreciated the support he has received from fans in India

PHOTO COURTESY: BCCI

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi believes that the Men in Green cricketers are missing a big opportunity by not playing the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Afridi, famously known as Boom Boom, also stated that bilateral cricket ties between the two countries, Pakistan and India, won’t resume until Narendra Modi is in power across the border.

“The government of Pakistan is always ready but with the present regime [in India] there are no such chances of [resuming] cricket relations, of [Pakistan-India] series,” Afridi told Arab News in an interview. “With Modi in power, I don’t see it’s going to happen.”

“I know that IPL is a very big brand in the world of cricket and it is an excellent opportunity for, whether it’s Babar Azam, or many other Pakistani players to go there [to India] and play under pressure and share dressing rooms. So in my opinion Pakistani players are missing a big opportunity,” he added.

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He also appreciated the support he has received from fans in India, over the years.

“Love is love,” the cricketer said. “No doubt, the way I have enjoyed cricket in India; I have always appreciated the love and respect that I have gotten from the people of India. And now when I speak on social media, I get many messages from India and I reply to many people. I believe that my overall experience of India has been excellent.”

The IPL, originally scheduled to start in March, was shifted out to UAE due to rising coronavirus cases in India.

The matches, which began on September 19, will be held in bio-secure bubbles in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in front of empty stands but organisers are hoping to allow some fans during the later stages of the tournament, which will end on November 10.