KPL players’ draft likely to take place on April 2

ISLAMABAD:The players’ draft for the inaugural edition of Kashmir Premier League (KPL) is likely to take place in the first week of April at a local hotel here, the top KPL official said on Thursday.

“The draft pick was initially planned for March 24 but now we are considering to push it until April 2. Keeping in view the government’s recent decision to withdraw permission to hold indoor dining or other such gatherings due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation,” KPL president Arif Malik told reporter.

The KPL is scheduled from May 16 to 27 with all the fixtures taking place at the Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium.

According to Malik around 200 persons, including the players were expected to be present on the draft day. “It would’ve been great to invite more people on the draft day but a flare-up in the Covid-19 cases is restricting us to limit their number. We’ve already finalised the venue for the draft in accordance with the players’ consent,” he added.

He said the KPL management was in touch with a couple of broadcast companies and trying to enter a deal with them to reach out to every KPL fan. “Our talks with them are in the final phase. Hopefully, we’ll be able to lock-in them in the next two to three days,” he revealed.

Approved by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and with full backing of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir government, the 12-day topflight event will see six outfits locking horns for the top honours. The teams include Muzaffarabad Tigers, Mirpur Royals, Kotli Panthers, Rawalakot Hawks, Bagh Stallions, and Overseas Warriors.

Several Pakistan players including Shahid Khan Afridi, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi will be seen in the action along with Azad Kashmir’s promising players.

Malik expressed the optimism that the league would offer a perfect chance to AJK’s budding players to showcase their skills at a bigger level. “We are sure to see several highly potential players emerging from this league.

“The event will also a go a long way in introducing Kashmir to the entire world,” he added.