Monty Panesar opts out of Kashmir Premier League citing political tensions

New Delhi, August 3: Former England spinner Monty Panesar has clarified that he wasn’t blackmailed by anyone, rather it was his own decision to opt out of the Kashmir Premier League, which is backed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and is being staged in PoK. This was after Pakistan fans started to criticise the former cricketer for opting out of the event due to the pressure created by the BCCI.

But Panesar put his foot down and made it clear it was his own decision and there was no pressure on him. “I haven’t been blackmailed by anyone. I have been given the advice I understand the consequences and it’s my decision. So pipe down,” tweeted Panesar.

This clarification from Panesar came hours after he announced that he would not be participating in the Kashmir Premier League.

“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. #KPL2021,” tweeted Panesar.

One of the Pakistan fans took to Twitter to say: “@bcci blackmailed @MontyPanesar successfully.”

“By not participating you actually accepting the BCCI narrative of politicizing the game only because it is a rich cricket board and they thought they will do whatever they want to do,” wrote another fan.

Replying to one of the Pakistan cricket fans, Panesar wrote: “I’m sorry I can only follow the advise given by @ECB_cricket @PCA. So I am staying home buddy.” Earlier, the BCCI had slammed former Proteas batsman Herschelle Gibbs and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), saying the Indian board is well within their rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in the country.

This response from the BCCI came on the same day when former Proteas batsman Gibbs criticised the Indian board for allegedly stopping him to play in the Kashmir Premier League.

“While one can neither confirm or deny the veracity of the statement made by a former player who has figured in a CBI investigation into match-fixing earlier, the PCB must understand that even if Gibb’s statement is assumed to be true, the BCCI would be well within their rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in India. The fact that the Indian cricketing ecosystem is the most sought after for cricketing opportunities globally, should not be envied by the PCB,” a BCCI official told ANI.

“PCB is coming across as confused. Just the way the decision to not allow players of Pakistani origin to participate in the IPL cannot be construed as interfering in the internal affairs of an ICC member, the decision, if any, to allow or disallow anyone from participating in any manner with cricket within India is purely an internal matter of the BCCI,” the official added.