Much like the Pakistan Super League, the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) is a T20 series that aims to feature Pakistan’s domestic and international cricket players, except there will also be investment into cricket in Kashmir as well. This is a good opportunity for Kashmiri talent to come into the limelight, for the region to develop and for the attention to be focused on the cause of liberation that the people have been fighting for tirelessly. It is vital that the government provides KPL the platform it needs to attract international attention.

After immense strife, the first ever edition of the KPL is set to begin on August 6 and will continue until August 16. Players from different cities of Azad Jammu and Kashmir will take part in the matches, along with those who are overseas. The KPL is also bound to bring in some investment and attract some development in the region. There are various facilities needed to host a long sporting event that will benefit the region in the long-term as well.

One can expect the occasion to be joyful as, for once, the region is witnessing some semblance of normalcy. This may just be the kind of momentary break that the people of Kashmir need and deserve. However, it seems as though India has not taken well to this as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has threatened overseas players by saying that the doors of Indian cricket will close for them if they participate in the KPL. This politicisation of the sport has been criticised and condemned by the Pakistani government and the players alike, and rightfully so.

There is no room for such antics in the world of sports especially and after the degree to which India goes to state their support for the Kashmiri cause. Logic would dictate that they, like Pakistan, would empower the people and support this event. Going out of your way to bully players coming in from abroad is not the appropriate step forward and that is something that the players themselves are also highlighting. Regardless, Pakistan must continue to support the people, talent and development of Kashmir.