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‘We are eager to play’

Their government has prohibited them from travelling to India, their IPL teams don't think they're worth the trouble and yet Pakistan's cricketers are desperately keen to play in the cash-rich tournament in India, reports Bivabasu Kumar.

cricket Updated: Feb 06, 2009 12:40 IST
Bivabasu Kumar

Their government has prohibited them from travelling to India, their IPL teams don't think they're worth the trouble and yet Pakistan's cricketers are desperately keen to play in the cash-rich tournament in India. Thursday's IPL announcement that the contracts of five Pakistan players were terminated and two others suspended came as a body blow to Pakistan's cricketers.

Sohail Tanvir and wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, whose contracts were suspended by the Rajasthan Royals, told the Hindustan Times that they were hoping the situation would improve sufficiently to allow them to return to action in the IPL soon.

"It's a sad situation for Pakistan's players. We are eager to play in the IPL and hope the PCB and the government will soon meet to discuss the matter," said Akmal from Lahore.

Tanvir pointed to the fact that Pakistan is starved of international cricket and that the Pakistan Cricket Board is struggling financially. "We have central contracts, that's fine. But we will lose out on huge amounts of money for not playing in the IPL," said Tanvir. "I have a three-year contract with the Rajasthan Royals and I am really clueless at the moment. I will speak to my manager to see what can be done."

Tanvir, who has a 'Grade B' contract, is paid Pak Rs 1.75 lakh (INR 1.1 lakh) per month by the PCB. "I will lose $125,000 (Rs 60 lakh) for missing one edition of the IPL," said Tanvir. Akmal, whose 'Grade A' PCB contract pays him Pak Rs 2.5 lakh (INR 1.56 lakh) per month, will lose $150,000 (Rs 72 lakh) for not figuring in the IPL.

The contracts of Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Shoaib Malik, Salman Butt and Younis Khan were terminated while Mohammad Asif has already been released from his contract.