It’s Not Cricket

The political game that the Indian cricket board played with the Pakistani cricketers in the IPL auction left a sour taste in the mouth of the true cricket fan.

Already BCCI has earned a bad reputation in the world of cricket as a power hungry cricket board, which likes to get things done with its financial might. Its latest action will only make other cricket playing nations and boards hate them even more.

Whatever explanation IPL chief Lalit Modi gives about the non-inclusion of Pakistani players like Shahid Afridi in the IPL teams, the neutrals will now always look at them with suspicion. There has been outrage in Pakistan over the IPL snub. It is perfectly understandable. Who on Earth would not like to have a player like Shahid Afridi, the brightest star of Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Championship winning team.

“Pakistani players were humiliated. We applied for the IPL only on their insistence and not on our own,” a dejected Shahid Afridi told reporters a day after the IPL Auction III.

Sohail Tanveer, the left-arm pacer who helped Rajasthan Royal win the first IPL title in 2008, was also hurt. “We have been in demand and made a lot of friends in the first edition, but this is disappointing that we were first asked to apply and then not included in the bidding,” said Tanveer.

The owner of the Chennai Super Kings team said that the availability of the Pakistani players during the IPL months was a matter of concern. Hence they didn’t bid for any of the Pakistani players during the auction in Mumbai.

That’s ridiculous because the Pakistan cricket team has no international commitments in March and April when the IPL III will be played. In fact, the owners of the other teams also came up with similar excuses. It only proves that it was a well-planned move by the cricket board of India. Perhaps, each IPL team was instructed not to buy any Pakistani players.

A hurt Afridi later said that he would never take part in IPL again. That’s indeed very sad for the neutral cricket fan as everyone knows that the players from India and Pakistan, despite tension between the two countries, enjoy great friendship off the field.

Not long ago everyone expected cricket to bridge the gap between the two countries. Well, that’s never going to happen if the Indian cricket board keeps showing the same attitude.

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