spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img, fantasy sports platform, to boycott Pakistan-backed Kashmir Premier League

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India’s fantasy sports platform on Tuesday announced its boycott of the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) citing that “sovereignty and integrity of India come first.

“It has always been our mission to make everyone around the world and in India an ardent sports fan. In this endeavor of ours, we have always promoted sports in every form and offering it on our website, for fantasy tournaments. Unfortunately, this time we have decided to boycott a league going by the name Kashmir Premier League and recognized by Pakistan Cricket Board which is supposed to be held in August 2021 at Muzaffarabad stadium in Pakistan occupied Kashmir,” the company said in a statement.

“In the past, we have supported sports & cricket in various developing nations like Zambia and Afghanistan by sponsoring and offering those leagues on our platform. Going forward also we will be happy to support cricket & sports in various parts of the world which includes the state of Jammu & Kashmir subject to it is held under the rightful banner of BCCI and India,” it further added.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) approved the inaugural edition of the franchise-based Kashmir Premier League, which will be played from August 6, 2021, to August 17, 2021, in Muzaffarabad, a territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, with six teams – Rawalakot Hawks, Kotli Lions, Mirpur Royals, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Overseas Warriors, and Bagh Stallions.

The BCCI recently requested ICC not to recognize KPL as it is being played in PoK and issued a statement that “any player participating in the upcoming Kashmir Premier League would not be allowed to take part in any cricketing activity in India.”

But, ICC denied commenting anything as it was “beyond their jurisdiction.”

Amidst the growing tension, former South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs alleged that the BCCI was threatening against participating in the KPL.

“Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl_20. Also threatening me saying they won’t allow me entry into India for any cricket-related work. Ludicrous,” he tweeted.

The PCB termed BCCI’s decision “completely unacceptable” as it invoked the spirit of Cricket.

The PCB said, “The PCB considers that the BCCI has brought the game into disrepute by issuing warnings to multiple ICC Members to stop their retired cricketers from featuring in the Kashmir Premier League, further threatening they will not be allowed entry into India for cricket-related work”……… “such conduct from the BCCI is completely unacceptable, against the preamble of the Spirit of Cricket and sets a dangerous precedent, which can neither be tolerated nor ignored.”