Lahore: International Cricket Council (ICC) president Zaheer Abbas on Wednesday said he would initiate talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over inclusion of Pakistani players in the extravagant Indian Premier League (IPL).

Abbas will be in India to watch the summit clash of the league in Bangalore on Sunday.

The former Pakistan batsman told reporters in Lahore that if Pakistani players were included in the IPL, “it would raise the importance and status of the league.”

In the 2009 IPL season, Pakistan’s players were not allowed to travel to India in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Even though the tournament was moved to South Africa, they were still barred from participating.

Before the start of the second IPL season, the franchises who had Pakistan players in their ranks were asked to terminate their contracts. All this in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The Pakistan government had taken no action against the terror outfit.

Abbas also called for the revival of bilateral cricket ties between Pakistan and India.

“I have accepted the invitation (to watch the IPL final) and it is a good opportunity for me to again highlight the importance of resuming bilateral cricket ties although they are obviously subject to government clearances,” he said.

“I think any government hurdles in the way of having a bilateral series should be removed,” he added.

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