IPL back on Pakistan TV

Eleven of Pakistani players up for grabs went unsold in the IPL auction last year, trigerring angry protests from political leaders and former cricketers.

When the league started, some cable operators in Punjab province and other parts of Pakistan did not relay the Indian channel telecasting the IPL matches. But as the tournament progressed, they began relaying it though it was placed towards the end of their list of channels to keep the matter “low profile”.

Sources said this was done as the cable networks anticipated some action against them by the government due to the public outcry over the perceived snub to Pakistani players.
When no action was taken by the federal sports ministry or the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, the cable networks brought the Indian sports channel back to the top of their list this week.

“Bookies are stronger than the government and CAP,” said CAP official Shahzad Khan.
“The boycott was an emotional outburst by CAP president Jabbar Ahmed. It was not possible to ban the telecast of IPL matches, which involved the interest of not only bookies but the masses,” he said.

“My staff received countless calls from across Lahore when we put the Indian channel showing IPL matches (towards the bottom of our list of channels). The viewers want us to place the channel higher on the list so that they do not miss a single match,” Khan said.
“When such public interest was involved, how could CAP even think of boycotting the telecast of the IPL matches,” he added. According to a senior police official, billions of rupees have been staked on IPL ties.

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