Pakistan should not feel insulted by the fact its players were ignored in this week's Indian Premier League auction, as many players from other nations were also overlooked, a top Indian official has said.
There has been anger in Pakistan over Tuesday's auction, in which not one of the 11 available Pakistani players received bids from the eight competing IPL franchises.
"The differing needs of the franchises and availability of the players played a large role in whom the teams bid for," said N Srinivasan, owner of the Chennai Super Kings and secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
"How can you say if you do not buy a player from a particular country it is an insult to that nation?" he said in the local newspaper, The Hindu.
Effigies of IPL commissioner Lalit Modi were burnt in various cities of Pakistan while the speaker of lower house had stopped a parliamentary delegation from traveling to India in protest. The auction saw 66 international players available for just 11 slots, with West Indies' Kieron Adrian Pollard joining the Mumbai Indians after attracting an undisclosed fee, exceeding his price of $750,000 per season.
"There were 55 cricketers who must have been disappointed with the auction," Srinivasan said. "I do not think one should look at the nationality of the cricketers at all here.
"The franchisees are paying good money for the team as well as the players. They have the right to pick the players they want. After all, it is their money.
"If you look at the auction, some very good cricketers such as Ramnaresh Sarwan, Brad Haddin and Graeme Swann did not find any takers. Their ability is not in question here. It is just that the franchisees entered the auction with specific needs."
The BCCI official denied that the cricket board or Indian government blocked the non-selection of Pakistan players, whose national team is the reigning Twenty20 world champions.
"The BCCI has no role. And the choice of the individual team owners should not be mixed up with government policy," he said. "It is possible that some franchisees could have displayed interest in the Pakistani players and then changed their minds according to their needs."