The decks were on Thursday cleared for Pakistani cricketers to take part in the third edition of IPL with the Indian government clearing their visas but they can be part of the cash-rich event only through the January 19 auction process.
Ending days of uncertainty, the Indian government said visas would be issued to the Pakistani players, who had submitted applications with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and Wellington but their partipation in the Indian Premier League would depend only if the franchises buy them in the auction.
Although the Pakistan Cricket Board will make a request to IPL to do away with the visa deadline, the organisers of the Twenty20 event may find it difficult to accomodate the four Pakistani cricketers in the normal process.
IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi said the Pakistani cricketers have missed the deadline for the third IPL and the only way they can be part of the Twenty20 tournament is through the January 19 auction.
Modi said the Pakistani cricketers missed the bus by failing to get visas by the December 7 deadline and the IPL franchises have already replaced them with fresh recruits.
In such a scenario, the Pakistani cricketers could hope to be part of the event only through the next round of players auction.