PCB shuts door on Pakistanis in IPL

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has ruled out the participation of its players in IPL 2010 and has revoked the no-objection certificates (NOCs) granted to its players.

“No Pakistani player will go to the IPL this time,”Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, told Cricinfo. “Why should we allow them to go? They didn’t pick any of the players and it was an insult to us. Why should we let one or two players go? We will not take this lying down.”

Butt’s statement seems to have shut the door on the issue, though a PCB release issued minutes earlier held out some hope.

“All NOCs issued to Pakistani players for their participation in IPL 3 stand revoked,” the PCB statement said. “In the future if any player receives an invitation for participation in IPL events, PCB will decide the matter on a case-to-case basis after consulting the relevant government authorities.”

The decision came after Pakistani players were ignored at the player auction for the third edition held in Mumbai. Of the 11 players in the IPL’s final auction list of 66, none were bought by any franchise.

That sparked outrage in Pakistan and led to statements on both sides – including one from India’s home minister – regretting the blackout of Pakistani players at the auction. There has also been a warning issued by a regional party in Mumbai warning against Pakistanis being hired by the franchises, but recent reports indicated that Pakistani players could play a role in the next IPL season.

One player, allrounderAbdhual Razzaq, has also been linked to two franchises though officials of both franchises deny any specific deal has been concluded.

The participation of Pakistani players in the third IPL season has been a subject of much controversy for the past three months, with some element of confusion over rules and eligibility. It was thought, when their names were included on the auction shortlist earlier this month, that the issue had been resolved but events at the January 19 auction suggest they are taking a new turn.

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