Pakistani players were a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in its inaugural season only, which had also seen the best viewership. For a cricket fan, this can be disappointing in many ways. IPL Chairman and BCCI VP Rajiv Shukla had also said a few days back that the participation of Pakistan cricketers in the IPL is dependent on the resumption of India-Pakistan cricket ties.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be visiting Pakistan this November for political talks and that would probably determine how BCCI & PCB (Pakistani Cricket Board) are going to make things possible for the bilateral series between the two countries, which would also enable Pakistan to participate in IPL.
The Pak cricketers have already missed four seasons of IPL. Let it be any part of the world, people love to see Shahid Afridi (BoomBoom Afridi) play and thrash all the bowlers in the 20-over format of the game. He played for the Deccan Chargers in the first year of IPL. Kamran Akmal did a decent job for Rajasthan Royals and the impact player was Sohail Tanvir who did the maximum damage in that IPL taking 22 wickets in just 11 matches and also hitting the winning runs in the finals against the Chennai Super Kings with a boundary for RR to lift the inaugural IPL Cup in 2008. Salman Butt, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul played for Kolkata Knight Riders. Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Asif played for Delhi Daredevils and Misbah-ul-Haq played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
At least I think that had things gone right, Pak players playing in IPL 5 would have raised the interest level a bit higher for the fans. Another thing about the IPL is also last year’s auction, where teams were allowed to retain four players. I am not sure if that was a good idea as it gives advantage to the team to keep its most important players and for the big league teams, it is the team captain. May be people would have loved to see Dhoni captain a different team and Sehwag for a different team this season.