The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will decide its future course of action on the IPL snub after meeting Pakistan Sports Minister Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani in Lahore on Friday.
Jakhrani, who had termed the IPL-III auction as “humiliating” and “discriminatory”, will be briefed on the PCB’s business plans along with the steps the board is mulling over after the their cricketers went unsold in the Indian Premier League auction.
“Mr Jakhrani has already expressed his grievance to his Indian counterpart and will discuss all the pros and cons when he meets the PCB officials in Lahore on Friday,” said Faik Ali, Pakistan sports ministry spokesman.
According to Ali, the sports minister wants to get a clear picture from the PCB as the sports ministry had got the required clearances for the players to participate in the Indian Premier League.
“It was all done in time and it was the PCB’s job to apprise the IPL authorities about the availability of our players. So far we have the information that the PCB had duly informed the Indian cricket board about it. Tomorrow, we will know if there was any slip on our part,” Ali said.
PCB Chief Operating Officer (COO) Wasim Bari, who is supposed to attend the meeting, said: “People follow cricket. That our players were discriminated against is obvious. We are going to discuss the issue and then decide our course of action.
“What happened in the auction is not only demoralizing, but also against the interest of cricket fans in India and Pakistan.”
Bari sees the incident as regressive, especially when the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief David Morgan is rooting for the revival of cricket ties between India and Pakistan.
“The world knows no cricket competition can be as intense as between India and Pakistan. Mr Morgan saw the broader picture, unfortunately no one else did,” said Bari.
“You can’t be narrow in your views. The Pakistan hockey team is supposed to take part in the World Cup in India this year, and we want it to go ahead. That’s the best way to mend the relationship,” he said.
Bari also dismissed the franchisees’ plea that they picked up players as per their requirements.
“Pollard is a new player, while Afridi is one the most experienced and better players of the Twenty20 format.
“To see Afridi remain unsold and a rookie like Pollard bag a fortune…doesn’t it say everything,” he asked?