Pakistan has banned the broadcast of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches in the country, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced on Tuesday. The decision was made after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to reports.
The request to ban the matches came from the Information Ministry. During the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League, the Indian broadcaster DSport stopped airing the matched mid-tournament following the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir in February. â€śIndia made an organised effort to harm cricket in Pakistan and it doesnâ€™t make sense for us to allow an Indian domestic tournament to be promoted here,â€ť Chaudhry said, according to the Economic Times.
More than 40 jawans were killed in the terror attack on February 14. Pakistan-based outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), claimed responsibility for the attack that took place on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
IMG Reliance, an Indian company, also reportedly pulled out of a deal to produce TV coverage of the PSL worldwide. The Pakistan league had to scramble midway through the tournament to find a new production company, DNA reports.
Though Chaudhry says that the Khan government doesnâ€™t believe in the politicisation of sports and culture, the decision was taken because of the stance India has taken against Pakistani players and artists.
â€śBut we saw the attitude that India maintained against Pakistani citizens, actors, artists and cricketers. We saw that limit was crossed when the Indian cricketers played their match against Australia wearing army caps,â€ť he said, according to the Times of India.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority is tasked with ensuring that IPL matches will not be broadcast in Pakistan, reports say.
The IPL is entering its 12th day of the tournament that began on March 23. On Wednesday, the Chennai Super Kings will play the Mumbai Indians in Mumbai.