The IPL snub should not come in way of Pakistan's participation in the hockey World Cup to be held in India, Shahbaz Ahmed, former star forward of the strife-torn country, said today.
Former Pakistan cricket captain Zaheer Abbas had suggested that his country should boycott the World Cup in
protest against the humiliation suffered at the Indian Premier League auction where all the 11 players from across the border went unsold.
Shahbaz, however, was not ready to buy Abbas' view.
"I do not agree with Zaheer. If you don't send the hockey team, then not only will it affect our hockey but will also
tarnish the image of the country," Shahbaz said.
"For a tournament like this, India and Pakistan should keep their rifts aside. You will be representing your nation
in a World Cup and thus you must send your team. IPL has nothing to do with Pakistan's participation (in the World
Cup)," Shahbaz told espnstar.com.
Hosts India will meet arch-rivals Pakistan on opening day of the tournament.
While hoping that his country will perform well in the event, Shahbaz also sounded word of caution for Pakistan.
"It will be a sensational game. Both the teams will be under pressure and it could be anybody's game. Pakistan have
beaten India in the recent times and thus their confidence will be high, but with home support India can turn the
tables," Shahbaz said.