As expected, there won't be any Pakistani presence in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League to be played in April and May. The list of 101 to be auctioned in Chennai on February 3 does not feature any Pakistan player.
Despite hosting Pakistan for a limited overs series in
December-January, the Indian cricket board officials were not convinced about inviting the Pakistan players for the IPL.
The recent protests against their participation in the Hockey India League and the Women's World Cup proved to be the final straw.
The Pakistan board has been pushing for their players' inclusion, but the BCCI officials saw no logic in having them in the auction for they are sure there won't be any takers.
"Who would be foolish to invest in the Pakistan players?" a senior Board functionary asked. The Pakistan cricketers have not been invited to play in the cash-rich league since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
In what is expected to be a low-key auction, current and former Australia captains, Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting, have attracted the highest base prices of $400,000 (approx Rs. 2.1 crores).
In what is certainly a peep into the future, the ICC in its board meeting in Dubai has backed an increase in the number of domestic Twenty20 leagues around the world.
At the end of a two-day board meeting, ICC has concluded that domestic T20 leagues can add value to the game as a whole.