This is a landmark decision from BCCI, as Yusuf Pathan is the first Indian male cricketer who has been allowed to take part in a foreign league.
Notably, Indian Women’s cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandana were allowed to take part in the last edition of the Big Bash League, Australia.
"This is amazing news and we are very appreciative of the BCCI in granting this NOC [Non Objection Certificate]," said Hong Kong Cricket’s chief executive Tim Cutler. “This will go a long way to help the development of the sport in the region and with even more stars still to be announced this is shaping up to be a superb tournament that will be enjoyed by millions across the world.”
"The tireless work of the Cantons should also be acknowledged. Without the tenacity of [Cantons CEO] Urvashi Sethi-Sodhi this simply would not have happened and it is great to see the Cantons again lifting the event to greater heights with their hard work," he said.
Yusuf will represent the Kowloon Cantons, who have signed players Shahid Afridi and Tymal Mills.
Yusuf Pathan represents the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. However, Yusuf is currently not a BCCI contracted player.
It is a surprise that BCCI chose a small tournament like Hong Kong T20 League to allow an Indian player when there are ample of other more popular and competitive leagues like Big Bash League (Australia), Carribean Premiere League (West Indies), South Africa T20 League going around.
It now remains to be seen whether Indian cricketers will be allowed to play in the other popular T20 leagues as well.