In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, Indian broadcaster IMG-Reliance has withdrawn its commitment of producing television coverage of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL). This news was confirmed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday, February 17.
IMG-R has been broadcasting the ongoing edition of the PSL which is taking place in Abu Dhabi and was also slated to telecast the matches once the tournament would be shifted to the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore next month for the knockout stages.
"Due to unfortunate events a couple of days back which resulted in the death of Indian soldiers, IMG Reliance is pulling out with immediate effect, from offering broadcast production services for PSL. The incident that occurred is deeply regrettable," stated a mail addressed to Sohaib Sheikh and Kamil Khan of Pakistan Cricket Board, according to PTI.
This has put the PCB in a soup as they have to quickly find a replacement, failing which the tournament will go off-air. PCB managing director Wasim Khan confirmed IMG-R's pull out and said that they have a contingency plan in place which will soon come into effect.
"The PCB always had a contingency plan in place, and we are confident we will be in a position to announce the new partner," Wasim Khan said in a statement. "The PCB has also noted the recent turn of events and expresses its extreme disappointment as we have always believed and emphasised that politics and sports should be kept separate," he added.
This news is another move by Indians in the field of sports to cut ties with Pakistan after the horrific suicide bombing incident that claimed the lives of at least 40 CRPF jawans on February 14. The incident happened around 3:15 PM when a 22-year-old named Adil Ahmad Dar rammed an explosive-laden SUV into a bus carrying CRPF troopers in the Lethpora area of Pulwama district on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway. Pakistan terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) took responsibility for the act.
Following the incident, the prestigious Cricket Club of India (CCI) covered the portrait of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in its headquarter – Brabourne Stadium. Their secretary has also urged the BCCI to not play against Pakistan in the upcoming cricket World Cup in England. India is slated to take on Pakistan in the quadrennial tournament on June 16 at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Meanwhile, BCCI acting president Vinod Khanna has also appealed to the Committee of Administrators to sanction at least Rs 5 crore to the families of the martyred soldiers.