IPL 2022: Shah Rukh Khan is co-owner of KKR.© BCCI/IPL
Since its inception in 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has grown into the biggest T20 franchise competition in the world. Cricket stars from other countries have graced the IPL except for Pakistan, which only participated in the first season of the tournament. Pakistani players were not allowed to play in the league after the 26/11 terrorist attacks in November 2008. Former Pakistani all-rounder Yasir Arafat recently revealed that even he was to attend IPL 2009 as a Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) co-owner Shah Rukh Khan personally offered him a contract to join his franchise. Speaking on YouTube channel Cricket Den, Arafat said: “Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had shortlisted names for the first edition and unfortunately I was not among them and could not play”
“I was playing County Cricket for Kent in 2008 where KKR scouting team came specially from India and they met me in a game. They revealed that Shah Rukh Khan wanted me to play for his team “, he revealed.
“At first I thought it was a joke why Shah Rukh would send someone to talk about the contract. They also gave me a card and took my details.”
“A few weeks later, I received an email where they complained that I did not contact them and the discussion was postponed. They again offered me a three-year contract where Shah Rukh himself m called and greeted me.
“Then the Mumbai explosions happened and Pakistani players could never play in the competition again. Maybe it was a matter of luck that me and other Pakistani players never played in the competition again. the IPL,” he added.
After making his international debut in 2000, Arafat represented Pakistan in three Test matches, registering 94 runs and bagging nine wickets. He also played in 11 ODIs, scoring 74 points and taking four dismissals. Meanwhile, in 13 T20I he scored 92 runs and took 16 wickets.
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