The impasse between Pakistani cricketers and the Indian Premier League (IPL) seems headed for a resolution.
Four Pakistani cricketers have been granted Indian visas, enabling them to participate in the player auction on January 19, which in turn could pave the way for them to play in the third edition of IPL in March 2010.
Sohail Tanvir (Rajasthan Royals), Misbah-ul-Haq (Royal Challengers), Kamran Akmal and Umar Gul (both Kolkata Knight Riders) have got visas. But since they missed the December 7 deadline for obtaining them, their contracts with their franchises are suspended. However, they, along with non-contracted Pakistani players, are eligible for the auction.
The problem for them is their replacements have already been picked. “The teams have signed replacements,” said IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. “These contracts can’t be reversed.”
The players can submit an application to be part of the auction by January 1, 2010. This does not guarantee that any of them will be picked by a team.
Explaining the delay, an External Affairs Ministry source said: “The visa applications are still being processed — one in Islamabad, three in Wellington (New Zealand). Neither the IPL organisers nor the Pakistan cricket board intimated us about any deadline.”