Preparations have intensified for the second season of Legends League Cricket (LLC). The second season of LAC will be played in six Indian cities. Like last year, this time players from many countries will also participate in the league. The first season of the league was played in Oman in January this year between three teams India Maharaja, World Giants and Asia Lions and consisted of seven matches. However, Season 2 will have four franchise-owned teams. There will be 15 matches, which will be played from September 17 to October 8 in six cities: Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, Jodhpur, Cuttack and Rajkot.
Former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has also confirmed that he will attend a very special LLC match. Ganguly wrote on Instagram: “Ready to play a single match of charity funding for the independence festival. 75 years of Indian independence and the need to promote women’s empowerment with the best stalwarts of the legendary cricket league.
However, the biggest concern facing the organizers is the availability of visas for former cricketers from Pakistan who are set to take part in the tournament. Doubts are being raised as to whether the BCCI or the Indian government has changed its position on its cricket links with Pakistan.
Notably, India and Pakistan have not played a bilateral series for nearly a decade and only meet in Asian Cup and ICC events due to political tensions between the two countries. Players from Pakistan do not participate except in the first season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008.
When asked about the situation, some BCCI officials are not very aware of the visa issue. “I can’t say much. If Pakistani cricketers get a visa from our government, they will play or they won’t play. We (BCCI) have no role in the tournament or visas,” the official said.
Another official questioned: “How can Pakistani players be allowed to play on Indian soil when we have no cricket ties with Pakistan? I am sure they will not get visas.”
LLC Season 2 features a long list of former cricketers from Pakistan, including Shoaib Akhtar, Misbah-ul Haq, Shahid Afridi and many more, including the Asian and World XI teams. Therefore, it will be interesting to see the stand of the Government of India on the granting of the visa.