Mumbai. In a further sign of improving Indo-Pak ties thanks to cricket diplomacy, BCCI has responded positively to the appeal by Shahid Afridi, the Pakistani cricket captain, for inclusion of Pakistani cricketers in the Indian Premier League.
Pakistani players had taken part in the first edition of the professional league for Twenty20 cricket, but were avoided by the franchises afterwards as the relationship between both the countries nosedived in wake of Mumbai terror attacks.
“The relationship seems to be improving for some reason,” Chirayu Amin, Chairman and Commissioner of the IPL said, “Our team could travel to Pakistan so we thought we could let Pakistani players travel to India as well. We are happy to announce that Pakistani players are most welcome in the current IPL.”
Sources suggest that Pakistani players could get a chance to play in the ongoing IPL if Sri Lankan players decide to heed to their board’s directive and go back to their country for a tour of England.
But to make sure that Pakistani players are fit and “eligible” to play in the IPL, BCCI, which administers the league, has asked the interested Pakistani cricketers to send video clips where they are seen going “brrr” after drinking Coca Cola.
“We have uploaded a video clips on IPL YouTube channel showing Pathan brothers (Yusuf and Irfan) shaking their body and going ‘brrr’ after drinking Coke; this should help the Pakistani cricketers,” Mr. Amin said, “See, IPL has come a long way since the Pakistani players were a part of it. There is no Lalit Modi now and we have cheerleaders wearing saari. That’s why we are keeping this simple ‘brrr’ test for eligibility.”
Since the auctions for players in the ongoing IPL are already over, BCCI has hinted that the contract amount of a Pakistani player could depend upon the number of likes and comments he receives on his “brrr” YouTube clip.
“They should take this seriously. This is no joke. Also, since they have bigger hearts as claimed by Afridi, I think they can shake it better,” Amin said, wishing all the best to the Pakistani cricketers.
There were no immediate reactions from the Pakistan Cricket Board on the BCCI offer but sources say that many Pakistani cricketers and their supporters are hopeful of making an impressive show.
“The ‘brrr’ ad of Coke was released in Pakistan more than three years before it was released in India. Our guys have better experience in shaking it,” said Shamim, a Pakistani supporter in Lahore.
Meanwhile unconfirmed reports suggest that banned Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif has already uploaded a YouTube video titled “Me going brrr on coke” which attracted over 300 views and 50 comments in the first hour.
“Ah! It reminds me of my coke days,” read one of the comments by some user called LalitKModi.