A day after Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan called the January 19 IPL auction snub “humiliating” for Pakistani cricketers, Home Minister P Chidambaram termed it a “disservice to cricket”.
He, however, said there was no “hint” from the government to overlook the
<b1>“These players were coming as individuals, not a Pakistan team… I don’t know why the IPL teams acted the way they did. But to suggest there was a hint or nudge from the government is untrue,” he told news channel Times Now.
Eleven Pakistanis went under the hammer but none were picked, prompting the Pakistan Cricket Board to call it a conspiracy and franchisees to cite security and availability issues.
On whether he thought Pakistan was over-reacting, Chidambaram said: “If no player from a country is picked, the country feels insulted. Whether the reaction is proportionate or not, it is not for me to comment.”
No one from the IPL reacted to his statement but a franchise official, who didn’t want to be named, said: “In some cases, they (Pakistanis) did not fit the bill. But even if they had, the thinking was it was better to be safe than sorry as you can’t anticipate a political situation two months down the line.”