'Sad and disappointing': Gibbs on BCCI's threats over KPL

The 47-year-old expressed his belief that politics should be kept firmly away from the sport

'Sad and disappointing': Gibbs on BCCI's threats over KPL PHOTO: AFP

South Africa’s former legendary batsman Herschelle Gibbs, in an interview with Cricket Pakistan, termed the threats meted out to him by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over his participation in the inaugural edition of the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) as ‘sad and disappointing.

The 47-year-old expressed his belief that politics should be kept firmly away from the sport and that he would always go wherever cricket was being played in the world.

“No, there is no pressure on me whatsoever. I have been traveling for so many years to all cricket-playing countries without interference from the BCCI. I found it very strange and bizarre that they wanted to interfere with my business all of a sudden when I was coming to the Kashmir Premier League. For me, it is no politics. I just go where there is cricket being played. Kashmir is another place where they are playing cricket and that is the way I look at it. That is why I find it bizarre that the BCCI interfered all of a sudden and wanted to prevent me from coming here,” Gibbs said.

“It was a little sad in a lot of ways because I have worked lots of times in India and have a lot of friends there. For them to want to step in and interfere and prevent me from coming here and threaten me by saying that I would be denied entry in India is sad and disappointing. I have never liked politics in sports. There is a lot of politics back home in South Africa cricket too. It’s really sad when politics get involved in sports,” he added.

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The former batsman praised the beauty of Muzaffarabad, where the KPL is being played while explaining that lack of practice was the reason why the fans were yet to see him in action for his side.

“It’s beautiful. It’s a wonderful opportunity to play. It’s an inaugural time for the league. It’s nice to be part of a new league for the first time. The location and the venue are fantastic. I think the games have been highly entertaining. I think the league couldn’t have asked for a better start. Entertainment is what T20 cricket is all about and it has been a fantastic start,” he said.

“Because it is winter back home, there hasn’t been any nets available and because of the Covid restrictions back home in South Africa, there weren’t any net facilities I could use indoors. When I arrived, I thought I could have a couple of practice sessions but there are no net facilities at the ground, unfortunately. I think it would be wrong for me to get a game at this stage. It would be unfair since I haven’t practiced. But there might be a bit of surprise on the way,” he concluded.