IMG Reliance, on Sunday, pulled out as the producers of Pakistan Super League in wake of Pulwama terror attacks. The decision was taken after the massive backlash over the terror attacks in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday. According to an IMG-Reliance official, asking not to be named, a mail was sent to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) by Reliance officials, informing the decision.
In the mail written to Sohaib Sheikh, General Manager Marketing & Sales PCB and PSL, and Kamil Khan General Manager Marketing, Digital Media and Sports Production at Pakistan Cricket Board, IMG Reliance wrote: “Due to unfortunate events a couple of days back which resulted in the death of Indian soldiers, IMG Reliance is pulling out with immediate effects, from offering broadcast production services for PSL,” the source confirmed to IndianExpress.com.
“The incident that occurred is deeply regrettable,” it further said.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) later issued a statement to the effect and stated they are likely to name a new producer on Monday (February 18). “We have been informed by IMG Reliance that they will be unable to partner with us for the remaining HBL PSL 2019 and PCB has reserved all its rights. The PCB always had a contingency plan in place, and we are confident we will be in a position to announce the new partner on Monday after the completion of the formalities,” said PCB’s Managing Director Wasim Khan in the statement.
The decision from Reliance came just a few hours after the broadcasting channel D-Sport suspended the telecast of the league in India.
IMG Reliance bagged the deal to produce and broadcast season 4 of the T20 league in January 2019. The first three seasons of the T20 tournament were produced by UK-based Sunset & Vine.
At least 40 CRPF personnel died on Thursday in the single worst terror attack in the Valley when a suicide bomber rammed his Scorpio SUV laden with explosives into a CRPF bus in south Kashmir. Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the bomber as a 20-year-old local resident from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The bus, ferrying over 40 soldiers, was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles with 2,547 CRPF personnel, moving from Jammu to Srinagar. Most of the men were returning from leave to join duty in Srinagar, said sources.