As a perceived snub to Pakistani players by the Indian Premier League spark a spat between the neighbouring countries, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, an IPL franchisee himself, believes they should have been picked.
"I truly believe they (Pakistan playeers) should have been chosen,"
Khan, co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR),
Khan however said that since "some issues" were involved the matter could have been handled by the IPL "respectfully".
No Pakistani player was bought by the eight Indian clubs during an auction on Tuesday for the third edition of the
glitzy IPL despite the Pakistan team being the reigning world champions in the Twenty20 format of the cricket tournament.
Rooting for the Pakistani players, Khan said they 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 can't deny it," he told NDTV.
Khan said it was humiliating to him as a KKR owner that no one bid for the Pakistani players despite them being put up
"We are known to invite everyone. We should have. If there were any issues, they should have been put on board earlier. Everything can happen respectfully," he said.
"Everyday we blame Pakistan, everyday Pakistan blames us. It is an issue," Khan, who had five players from Pakistan
playing for KKR in IPL's first edition, said.
Khan felt that the youth should circumvent all that is said about India and Pakistan by the politicians and say,
"It(Pakistan) is a great neighbour to have. We are great neighbours, They are good neighbours. Let us love each other."
"Let me be honest. My family is from Pakistan, my father was born there and his family is from there," he said.