(Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction. Learn to take a joke; you’ll live longer.)
ISLAMABAD: A contingent of cricketers of the Pakistan national and domestic sides is being dispatched to Middle East as part of continuation of the nation’s domestic T20 cricket franchise league, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed on Wednesday.
“The cricketers in Dubai and Sharjah will not be employed outside the UAE till the playoff stage. Pak Army maintains bilateral security cooperation with many other GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]/regional countries,” the military media wing said in a statement issued.
The ISPR did not provide the exact number of troops being sent, but maintained that the number can be confirmed from the official PSL website.
However, the army’s emphasis on sending the cricketers to UAE as part of ‘PSL’ is apparently to avoid any controversy since Pakistan is also part of the Saudi-led 41-nation counter terrorism alliance.
The announcement regarding cricketers being sent to Middle East came just a week after army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa met the Iranian ambassador.
The meeting suggests that the army chief might have taken the Iranian envoy into confidence about the Pakistan Super League and Pakistan’s moves in the Middle East in the near future – especially over the next month or so.