IPL auction: Pak players snubbed again

Shahid Afridi

Considered pariahs by the Indian Premier League since 2008, Pakistani cricketers were once again left out of the list of players to be auctioned for the event's sixth edition in April-May.

The 101-strong list of players, to be auctioned on Sunday, does not feature a single Pakistani player despite the resumption of bilateral cricket ties between the two neighbours in December last year.

Pakistani players have been ignored by IPL since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Even though the Pakistan Cricket Board has been pushing for their inclusion, the efforts have not paid off even this year.

And it has got nothing to do with the recent tension that gripped the Line of Control earlier this month after an Indian soldier was beheaded during a violation of the ceasefire.

The move to keep Pakistani players out was initiated in December last year even though BCCI had hinted about having them for the auction at least.

The BCCI's apprehension stemmed from the fear of controversies given that having sports persons from across the border remains a sensitive matter in India.

"It is for the franchises to decide their teams. The franchises invest a lot of money and they do not want to take risk by including Pakistani players. The idea is to play it safe", a top IPL official said.

Recently, Pakistani hockey players were sent back from the Hockey India League while the women cricketers from the country, who are here for the World Cup, were shifted from Mumbai to Cuttack following protests by the Shiv Sena.

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