All speculation about Pakistani players participating in the forthcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament was nonsense, IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said on Thursday.
“It is complete bull****,”he said, speaking to Hindustan Times from London on Thursday.
<b1>“You have to have a purse (to buy a player). Deccan Chargers have no purse, Kolkata Knight Riders have no purse. You have to have a slot. And there’s no slot. No team has made an offer, no team can make an offer without my knowing of it and I know nothing.”
“Let me very clear,” he continued. “The auction is over, there are no spots open. If someone comes in now, he can only be brought in as a replacement for a player injured for the whole season. And if someone’s been injured for the whole season and I don’t know it, no one does.”
On Wednesday, Pakistan cricket chief Ijaz Butt told HT from Lahore that all rounder Abdul Razzaq had been approached by an IPL franchise to play in this year’s league. He later said that team was Deccan Chargers and he had asked Razzaq to get it from them in writing. Butt’s statement was sensational, given that the controversial snubbing of all 11 players from Pakistan in the January 19 auction in Mumbai has practically become an international incident between the two countries.
Modi, clearly tired of the controversy, said, in any case, an injury replacement took “two to three weeks”. “First, I have to verify the injury. Then I send someone to verify it. The home board (of the player) has to verify it. And if the player is available for even one day of the season, he can’t be replaced.”
The injury replacement process can be done till March 8, three days before the IPL opener. PCB chief Ijaz Butt, however, continued to insist Razzaq had IPL offers. On Wednesday, when told that Modi said it wasn’t possible, he had said: “Do you think I’m lying?”
On Thursday, Butt insisted to HT that Razzaq had an offer from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as well. “Razzaq called this morning to say that (KKR skipper) Sourav Ganguly had called him saying he has a one-year contract ready for him. But I can only take a decision (on allowing him to take part) after any of the franchisees officially sends him an offer letter in writing,” said Butt.
“I can only say that if a player is being replaced or being made an offer, I will know first, no one else. I have to give the authorization,” Modi responded.
Asked about a franchise saying it had signed up Razzaq for a year before the auction, Modi replied: “Yes, a franchise did try and sign up Razzaq before the auction but I said that was not possible. So they asked me to put him in the auction and I did. And then that franchise wanted a fast bowler and went and exhausted all its money on Shane Bond.”
Bond was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for $750,000. KKR did not bid for Razzaq. As things stand, for now, no Pakistani player can be part of IPL III.
(with inputs from Bivabasu Kumar, Mumbai)