Mumbai, Apr 26: Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood, who became the first player from his country to feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2008, has urged the cricket authorities in India and Pakistan to resolve their issues and let Pakistani players play in both countries.
The-37-year-old was not sure of their issues, "I cannot really answer as to why the Pakistan players are still not a part of IPL, but I think the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) needs to look into this," The Dawn quoted Mahmood, as saying.
Mahmood, who recently played for Dhaka Gladiators in BPL, is currently playing for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 5. Pakistan players made a good impression in IPL 2008, but the likes of Shahid Afridi, Abdur Razzaq and several other names were ignored in the next season's auction.
"I don't think the doors were ever closed for professionals from Pakistan to be part of the IPL," he said, citing examples of many Pakistani professionals in this season's IPL. "In this edition alone, there are Pakistan umpires (Aleem Dar), Wasim Bhai [Akram] is the bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders while Rameez Raja is doing commentary work. Regarding the players, I think it's between the respective boards of India and Pakistan to sort things out," Mahmood told Gulf News.
More than a decade ago, Mahmood last played in India in the Pepsi Cup and said he enjoys playing cricket here.
"I played in Mumbai for the first time the other day and the crowd was amazing. I have always loved playing cricket here," Mahmood said.