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BCCI: Symonds still welcome for IPL

BCCI says the Australian player won't be blacklisted in the players' auction for the Indian Premier League.

cricket Updated: Jan 31, 2008 23:09 IST

Andrew Symonds' popularity in India after the Sydney Test fracas is anybody's guess but the BCCI today said the Australian all-rounder would not be blacklisted in the players' auction for the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Even in ICC Appeals Commissioner John Hansen's report, which cleared Harbhajan Singh of a racism slur, Symonds was criticised for provoking the Indian off-spinner and the Australian all-rounder had hardly been a favourite with the crowd in his earlier visits to India.

BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, however, dismissed speculation that the franchises might ignore the player in order to avoid antagonising their supporters.

"We believe that what Symonds has done (during the Sydney Test) was wrong and should be viewed very seriously, but India is a cricket-loving country and we will not take things further than this," Shah said.

"He will still be welcome," he was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

An official of the Chennai IPL franchise also assured that Symonds and his teammates would be very much in demand. "Definitely, we will bid on Australians. What happened in Sydney will not be a factor for us," he said.

Symonds's agent Matt Fearon also stressed that the player was keen to take part in the IPL. "He has signalled his intentions to play in the IPL, and to my knowledge that hasn't changed in any way, shape or form over the past few weeks," Fearon said.

"The contracts have yet to be cleared, but that is a separate matter. As far as what his intentions are, his view of the IPL has not changed," he said.