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Thursday, 21 January 2010

IPLs Pakistan snub pre-planned: report

If sources in the Indian Premier League are to be believed, there may have been a consensus among franchisees over not to bid for any of the Pakistan players on offer during the January 19 auction, Zeecric.com said in a report.

Indian Sports Minister MS Gill has said on record that the ministry had no hand in Pak players’ snub as it never issued any advisory against picking cricketers from the neighboring country, but reports in a leading Indian news daily suggest that the orders may have been reversed at the last moment, which led to all the drama during the high-profile event.

According to reports, while the BCCI had initially directed IPL as well as the various franchisees to pick and treat Pakistan players like all the others, adding that it would even talk to the govt and try to get the required permissions and visas for those picked, the situation changed dramatically just a few days before the auction.

Reportedly, the BCCI, after talking to govt. officials, said that there was no guarantee of the players’ availability during the third edition of the annual event, thereby forcing the franchisees to ignore the players.

The possible disruptions of matches (that feature Pakistan players) to be held in Mumbai by Shiv Sena and MNS also prompted the franchisee owners to overlook Pakistan players.

The Shiv Sena had a few days earlier threatened to disrupt matches in Mumbai that feature Australian players to protest against racial attacks on Indians in Australia.

“Security is a huge factor and it’s only the team owners who will have to take up the responsibility. BCCI is not responsible for internal security in the IPL. The board had asked the government if the Pakistanis would be safe in a place like Mumbai. The answer wasn’t too convincing with a senior state government functionary pointing out that barely a year had elapsed since the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai," the newspaper quoted a BCCI insider as saying.

"There was no direction from the board. The indication from the board was that the Pakistani players are shortlisted and you guys can bid for them. But they may not be welcomed in a place like Mumbai," the official added.

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