Hoping to play in the Legends Cricket League, Pakistanis are saying – wish India a visa!

New Delhi: The second season of Legends League Cricket (LLC) will be played in six Indian cities, with players from multiple countries participating. The first season of the league was played in Oman in January this year between three teams India Maharaja, World Giants and Asia Lions and consisted of seven matches. However, Season 2 will feature four franchise-owned teams. There will be 15 matches, which will be played from September 17 to October 8 in six cities- Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, Jodhpur, Cuttack and Rajkot.

The biggest concern before the organizers is the availability of visas for former Pakistan cricketers who are set to take part in the tournament. Questions are being raised whether the BCCI or the Indian government has changed its stand on its cricketing ties with Pakistan. Notably, India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series for almost a decade and they only face each other in Asia Cup and ICC events due to political tensions between the two countries.

Players from Pakistan do not participate except in the first season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. When asked about the situation, some BCCI officials are not much aware of the visa issue. “I can’t say much more,” the official told IANS. If Pakistani cricketers get visa from our government, they will play otherwise not. We (BCCI) have no role in the tournament or visa things.

Another official questioned, “How can Pakistani players be allowed to play on Indian soil when we have no cricketing ties with Pakistan.” I am sure they will not get visa. LLC Season 2 features a long list of former Pakistan cricketers, including Shoaib Akhtar, Misbah-ul Haq, Shahid Afridi and many more including Asia and World XI teams. So, it will be interesting to see the stand of the Indian government on granting visas. It is also worth noting that all Pakistan cricketers, both former and present, are playing in many leagues.

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