Pakistan fans exploring options to watch IPL

Karachi: Pakistani cricket fans are exploring options on social media to watch the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches after the government banned the telecast of the Twenty20 league in the country.

In a tit for tat response to an Indian company withdrawing its production team midway through the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches in UAE last month, the Pakistan government stopped IPL telecast.

Even though Pakistani players have not been invited to play in the IPL since 2008, the IPL has been widely watched in the country every year either on a Private Pakistani sports channel or on Indian channels. But since diplomatic relations between Pakistan and India deteriorated after the Pulwama incident on February 14, the Pakistan government has banned the airing of Indian content on television and also the screening of Indian films in cinema halls.

Pakistani cable operators and other companies, in line with government directives, have also blocked all Indian sports channels in the country. “I don’t know if the government has done the right thing by doing what India did during the PSL. They tried to damage our tournament and mix cricket with politics,” a former Test player who declined to be named said.

Pakistani minister for information and broadcasting, Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry recently announced that the IPL would not be shown in Pakistan. “During the PSL, the way the Indian companies and the government treated Pakistan cricket, after that, we can’t tolerate that IPL is shown in Pakistan,” Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry told a Pakistan
news channel.