Pakistan on Tuesday has officially banned the broadcasting of the IPL 2019 in the country. Fawad Chaudhry, the Information Minister of Pakistan confirmed about the news. Chaudhry alleged: “India made an organized effort to harm cricket in Pakistan.”
The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan who also happened to be a former captain of Pakistan Cricket team.
DSport was the official broadcasters of PSL in India. In February, DSport stopped airing the tournament following the Pulwama attacks. The channel terminated the coverage of the tournament to protest against the terror attacks in the valley of Kashmir that killed 40 CRPF Jawans. Pakistan based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), took the ownness of the terror attacks.
Following DSport, another Indian company IMG Reliance also withdrew from its deal to produce the television coverage of the PSL all over the world. PSL was forced to find a new production house during the mid-tournament. Choudhry said: “India made an organized effort to harm cricket in Pakistan and it doesn’t make sense for us to allow an Indian domestic tournament to be promoted here.”
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) is given a task to ensure that no IPL 2019 match is aired in the nation.
According to Chaudhry, the Government led by Imran Khan disbelieve in politicizing sports and culture. But the decision was taken because of India’s action against Pakistani artists and sportsperson.
“We tried to keep politics and cricket apart but 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,” he said.
IPL has been one of those events which pull out the most number of viewers from all around the world. The last edition of IPL was expectedly the most viewed event of the year. Star Sports Network recorded 448 million unique viewers during 2018 IPL with 1.4 billion impressions. The numbers are mindboggling still Chaudhry feels that not airing IPL 2019 in Pakistan would be a “loss” for IPL. He claimed: “I feel if IPL 2019 is not shown in Pakistan, it will be a loss for IPL and Indian cricket. We are a cricketing superpower in international cricket.”
Just like the other editions of the league, IPL 2019 has also been a hit. IPL 2019 has just started with only 15 matches completed so far. But the no. of viewers have just increased over the years and so in the IPL 2019. As the league continues and reaches the later and final stages of the tournament, the viewership shoots. IPL 2019 is currently the most viewed event in the world. Banning IPL 2019 could not harm a for the event.