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Full Name: Noman Zafar
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Pakistan talks of boycotting IPL 2011, Champions League

Cricinfo staff

January 25, 2010

Two senior Pakistani officials, sports minister Aijaz Hussain Jahkrani and PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, have ruled out the participation of cricketers from that country in next year's IPL and the Champions League Twenty20 tournament later this year, according to media reports. This, the officials say, is a reaction to the boycott of Pakistani players in the IPL auction.

"We are the World Twenty20 champions, there is a Twenty20 World Cup this year, and they don't want us to win again," Butt was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald. "We will definitely not send any players for the IPL next time. Would you after this treatment?

"This is a conspiracy," Butt said. "They probably don't want our players from playing in these competitions.''

The decision puts a question mark over Shahid Afridi's participation in the Twenty20 Champions League tournament, as a member of the South Australia Redbacks side. Though it is a global tournament featuring the best domestic Twenty20 sides in the world, the Champions League is an Indian initiative, with IPL chief Lalit Modi officiating as its chairman.

Asked whether Afridi would be given clearance to play in the Champions League, Jakhrani said, "At the moment, I cannot say. We're looking at this matter." For his part, Champions League commissioner Lalit Modi told Cricinfo it was not an issue at all.

Afridi, currently in Australia with Pakistan's limited-overs side, said he wanted to play in the Champions League but would make his final decision after talking to the minister.

"I think [the boycott] is a fact, it is not my decision. I will speak to the Sports Minister and see what he is saying, and then I will make a decision. I want to play in the Champions League," Afridi said.

Later, in a press release that appeared on, Afridi clarified that he was keen to move forward from the auction controversy.

"If I was invited to play in India again I would do so happily, they have great fans and great stadiums and I have many friends there," Afridi said. He also mentioned that sport should be used to build peace between the two nations.

Pakistani domestic sides were not part of last year's inaugural Champions League, which featured top teams from the IPL, Australia, England, West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. However, one Pakistani international, Yasir Arafat, did play as part of the Sussex side.

Jakhrani also said that while the IPL and Champions League were off-limits to Pakistan players, they would not boycott tours to India for international matches. "All of this has been designed to isolate us, that is what India wants. We will not be isolated. There is a World Cup in the subcontinent in 2011 to be played in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. What if we make the final against India? We cannot quit, we will play. I think we should continue playing sports with each other," he said.

 Reply:   Pakistan players should have been picked - Shah Rukh Khan
Replied by(Noman) Replied on (26/Jan/2010)
Shah Rukh described Pakistan's exclusion from the IPL as "humiliating". "I think its actually humiliating to me as a KKR owner that this has happened," he told NDTV. "We are known to be good, we are k

Indian Premer League 2010

Pakistan players should have been picked - Shah Rukh Khan

Cricinfo staff

January 25, 2010

Shah Rukh Khan, the the co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise, has spoken of the pressures the IPL franchises face in team selection, referring to the recent auction where no Pakistan player received the bid. He also referred to the demands of the Shiv Sena, a regional party, to block Australian players from the IPL.

Shah Rukh described Pakistan's exclusion from the IPL as "humiliating". "I think its actually humiliating to me as a KKR owner that this has happened," he told NDTV. "We are known to be good, we are known to invite everyone, and we should have. And if there were any issues, they should have been put out earlier so that everything could happen respectfully.

"I truly believe that they should have been chosen. As a matter of fact, I'm not going to be the one who is opposite from what everyone else is saying but I wanted Abdul Razzaq. I think it was in the newspapers much earlier than even the auction started. Dada (Sourav Ganguly) was very keen."

Eleven Pakistan players were on the 66 shortlisted for the IPL auction in Mumbai, but none was picked. The players had received NOCs from the PCB to participate in the tournament after the Pakistan government's various ministries had cleared them to tour India. But the uncertainty over strained relations between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 could have prompted the franchises to wield restraint. Shah Rukh highlighted the concerns team owners face in such situations.

"I am not giving an excuse and I truly believe Pakistani players are the best T20 players in the world. They are the champions. They are wonderful. But somewhere down the line there is an issue and we cannot deny it," he said. "There is an issue, we cannot keep saying 'Oh this was wrong'. Yes maybe the way it was done was wrong, the way it is being carried out may be wrong. But you can't keep on saying Koi issue nahi hai yaar, woh aa jate (There isn't any issue, they could have come). There is an issue, let's not deny it. Every day we blame Pakistan, every day they blame us, it is an issue."

He also referred to the Shiv Sena's statements against the participation of Australian players in the IPL, as a protest over race attacks against Indian students in Australia. "There is going to be a section of people who have suddenly gotten up and have said, rightly or wrongly, ' Australians will not be allowed to play'", Shah Rukh said. "So here is a set of people who are spending up to 70, 80, 90 crore rupees on trying to win a tournament and suddenly, even if you say this much to me, I'm like 'Uh-oh, so should I take or shouldn't I take him?'

"So tomorrow, if we had known this, maybe even the Australians would not have been picked up. These issues always come prime on your head, the stakes are very high."

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