Former Indian player and Governing Council member of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Surinder Khanna believes that fans on both sides of the border would love to see Pakistan player participating in the IPL.
However, he added that it won’t be possible without the prior permission from the Indian Government. He also talked about the rising stars of Pakistan cricket and heaped praise on guys like Babar Azam and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
“As far as Pakistan cricketers’ participation in IPL is concerned, I can assure you that the players from both sides always want to compete with each other. But we need to follow the advisory from the government, whether you like it or not. This is something which is out of our control. Who would not want to see terrific Babar Azam bat or the young pacer [Shaheen] Afridi bowl in the IPL?” said Khanna.
Surinder also stated that there are a lot of fans of Babar Azam in India and he is also at par with the Indian skipper Virat Kohli in terms of technique and performance.
“Babar has fans in India as well and, bearing in mind his technique, he is at par with Kohli. It is now a matter of consistency, as Kohli has been doing it for past 10-12 years, and if Babar can continue to play like this he will become more mature as a cricketer,” he said.
Khanna was also impressed with the way young batsman Haider Ali announced his arrival to the international cricket by smacking a fearless half-century on T20 debut.
“The other day, I was watching another young batsman [Haider Ali] against England. It was so nice to see him hit the ball so cleanly while also being technically sound,” he said.
During his exclusive interview, he also backed the idea of arranging matches between the champion teams of IPL and PSL.
“It is very good idea to play matches between the champions of IPL and PSL but this can’t materialize if the relations between Pakistan and India don’t improve. People all over the world want to see matches between Pakistan and India and hopefully things will move in a positive direction in the near future.” he concluded.