We have seen few Pakistani players who had the chance to feature in the early editions of Indian Premier League. While some cricketers played in the league, some of them even missed the same despite having the opportunity. Yasir Arafat is the one such star who could have made his IPL debut.
Bowling the medium pace, Yasir Arafat had highly impressed the Kolkata Knight Riders’ management in those early days. The team owner Shah Rukh Khan was having a close watch on his stats and performances.
If BCCI had not banned the involvement of Pakistani players in IPL after the Mumbai attack, he could have played on behalf of KKR. The cricketer recently gave an interview with Sports Yaari where he spoke about this in detail.
He stated that, “I missed the first edition of IPL. Before the second edition, Kolkata Knight Riders sent a special scout for me to England. He was advised to observe my performances. That scout met me and told me that Shah Rukh Khan had been closely following my stats. I did not believe the scout and thought someone was pulling a prank on me.”
He went on to add that he also got the call from India wanting to know the reason behind his absence. He then realized that it was a reality call and not a prank. Shahrukh Khan was all set to offer him a 3 year IPL contract.
Shah Rukh Khan came to London to offer me the contract: Yasir
The Bollywood star then called him next day. Welcome on board, I want you to play for my team were his words. SRK himself went to London later on to offer the invitation.
Yasir had the chance to play with Sourav Ganguly in the same team. He had a very good bond with Dada. Ganguly was the one amongst other few cricketer who attended Yasir Arafat’s wedding.