I think it’s not about cricket only rather economic prosperity of AJK has also been linked with KPL, says Taimur, who can be helpful to PCB and PSL after successful KPL

LAHORE   -  KPL Director Operations Taimur Khan believes that Kashmir Premier League (KPL) has become a global league and it will go a long way and provide the youngsters ample opportunities to excel at higher level. 

Talking to The Nation, Taimur said the league has set a record of the most viewership in Pakistan and it is supposed to become a vital opportunity for the players of Azad Kashmir to showcase their talent at the international level. “We discussed about almost everything from the draft of KPL to its start and the severe challenges, issues, positive aspects and the success it has gained in a very short period of time. As it was a first experiment and there were new people, there were some operational issues as well that caused some mistakes and errors but now it is the time to improve it as one of the best cricket leagues of the world.”

When asked about the lack of resources, he said: “There was a severe challenge of the lack of resources that caused us a lot issues but still we tried our best to make the league and tournament a success.” Talking about the scenario prior to the start of the tournament, he criticised the BCCI saying, “They violated the spirit of the game and brought politics into sport that was against the interests of the youth of the people of Azad Kashmir who are very happy regarding the KPL. Now they are playing cricket and will let the world know their names through their wonderful performances.”

Taimur said they tried their best to bring cricket in Azad Kashmir. “We decided to organise the KPL in Azad Kashmir and wanted to provide the youth of Kashmir a platform where they would showcase their talent. We succeeded by the grace of Almighty and now every franchise team has at least five Kashmiri players and there is a law that at least 2 of them must play in the final XI.

“We call it a global league now as it has broken all the viewership records and the success it has achieved is sometimes impossible for the bigger leagues even. There are plenty of rumours going on regarding the future of KPL but let me tell you that none of them is true. We have a 13-year contract with the Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium and we have been issued one year’s NOC by the PCB that can be extended. We are working in accordance with the guidelines of the PCB so the NOC will be extended,” he asserted. 

Taimur said he doesn’t want to rely on KPL only rather he wants to establish three cricket academies in Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Bagh where players must be given proper training as per the requirements of international cricket. “We want to bring qualified coaching staff from around the world in these academies. We want a Development League in this region that would make a team of the academy and the players could be drafted from that team in KPL franchises.”

In his view, KPL will promote cricket in AJK as well as it would bring economic prosperity in this region. “On one hand, there are cricket grounds being redeveloped while on the other hand, tourism industry will boom in AJK due to the tournaments like KPL. Hotels will also improve. So, I think it’s not about cricket only rather economic prosperity of AJK has also been linked with KPL,” concluded Taimur, who can be helpful to the PCB and PSL after successful KPL.