One expected big talk from the talks. But perhaps the first big storm ahead of the Champions League Twenty20 is the one involving a commentator!
Just days ahead of the CL T20, Wasim Akram’s omission from the list of names for the commentary box created quite a furore. It was easy to jump the gun and state the commonly placed reason for any Pakistan citizen who is denied an entry into India – that the former Pakistan captain was denied a visa to India because of the diplomatic strains of an Indo Pak deadlock.
However, India’s Home Ministry has quickly stated a denial of any such issue involving Akram. It would be interesting how Akram could have been held back given that he was in contention recently for the coaching position of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and a meeting with Shah Rukh Khan and also appointed bowling coach/consultant by the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA).
Akram, who is a familiar face on ESPN Star Sports, was a surprise omission. But the channel has stated that the reason for Akram’s absence from the list was because no Pakistan team had been picked for the inaugural tournament. Had the Champions League gone ahead as planned last year, cancelled due to the terror attacks in Mumbai in November 26/11/08, one could well have seen the Sialkot Stallions. Not to be.