Amidst Escalating political tensions between India and Pakistan, the agreement between PCB and IMG Reliance for live production and coverage of the Pakistan Super League now stands suspended as IMG Reliance pulls out mid-season.
Ever since the Pulwama attack took place, where a convoy of security personal was attacked on the Jammu Srinagar Highway and 40 Security personnel died, India has been pointing fingers at Pakistan holding it responsible for the attack. Be it the Indian state, military or Nation as a whole, Pakistan is being called out and threatened with possible military actions.
The professional working relationship between the countries, which is supposed to be a separate domain of affairs, has now hit a new low as Indians attempt to cease any working relationship and association with Pakistan in wake of the attack.
IMG Reliance, which had reserved the rights for live producing and broadcasting of the PSL 4, has pulled out of the agreement in the middle of the tournament and will not live produce the matches from tomorrow onwards. PCB issued a Press Release in wake of this matter as the MD PCB stated, “We have been informed by IMG Reliance that they will be unable to partner with us for the remaining HBL PSL 2019 and PCB has reserved all its rights. The PCB always had a contingency plan in place, and we are confident we will be in a position to announce the new partner on Monday after the completion of the formalities.”
Pakistan Super League has remained a successful event since it first took off and the event attracts large viewership from all over the globe, including India and denying digital coverage of the event in India is a highly regrettable step. MD PCB further added,
“The PCB has also noted the recent turn of events and expresses its extreme disappointment as we have always believed and emphasised that sports and politics should be kept separate. History tells us that sports, particularly cricket, have always played a key role in building bridges between people and countries.”
This move by Reliance came just hours after D-Sport, the official broadcaster of Pakistan Super League in India, suspended coverage of the tournament.
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The Managing Director of Pakistan Cricket Board Wasim Khan also announced that the board would explore and consider legal action as he added, “The PCB intends to take up these incidents with the BCCI and the ICC at the upcoming ICC committee meeting in Dubai later this month.”