It is unfortunate that there were no takers for Pakistani cricketers at the IPL-3 auction. But, given the security scenario and the costs involved, the franchisees cannot be blamed.
As for the Shiv Sena demanding a ban on Aussies playing in Maharashtra, the party cannot be blamed.
Attacks on Indians in Australia continue unabated and the half-hearted admission by the Australian government that some of these assaults are indeed racist does not help the matter.
The IPL has in-form overseas players like Sangakkara and Shane Bond, to mention a few, and it does not stand ruined.
Pak is just diverting attention from 26/11
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik is using cricket players as a medium to divert the core issue of bringing justice to the perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks with hope that such gimmicks will help refurbish the sagging image of that country.
There is no reason for Pak cricketers to get offended for being sidelined at the IPL-3 auction. Pak must understand that the selection of their cricket team is the prerogative of the Pakistan Cricket Board and so IPL selections are franchises’ responsibilities.
Security of players is most important
Let us realise that the BCCI is not responsible for internal security and the team owners are incapable of taking the responsibility.
Importance should be attached more to the safety of players rather than non-representation of players from a particular country.
It is also natural that when relations between the two countries are low, there is little charm or sense in choosing players from across the border.
Modi should take Sena seriously
The IPL is justified in dropping Pakistani cricket players. The IPL matches last year were not held in India because of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai by Pakistani terrorists.
The recent attacks on Indians in Australia have also made many groups and political parties angry. IPL boss Lalit Modi has ignored Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s warning against getting Australians playing in the state. Modi should take the Sena threat seriously and act fast.
Although Indians are suffering in Australia, the difference with Pakistan lies in the fact that the government is not responsible for the attacks and is acting against them.
IPL has played
politics in the past
The IPL is not a national sporting event. It is conducted by a private body and is primarily a business venture.
As for politics spoiling the tournament, IPL itself has not been averse to politics.
The last tournament was held in South Africa. This was seen more a defiance o the government rather than love for the sport.
It can be said that either Lalit Modi and company are trying to be safe rather than sorry or being politically correct in the interest of business. As for the common follower of the game, it hardly matters as they are just interested in fireworks.
Ban all Pak, Oz artistes and players
It is said that politics should not be mixed with sports, but looking at the current situation, Shiv Sena’s demand is in the interest of the nation.
Indians in Australia have been the targets of racists attacks and it is high time the Indian government gets tough.
The action taken by the IPL franchisees — not buying any Pakistani player — is also in the right direction.
Pakistan is supporting terrorist activities against India and has resulted in many lives being lost. The rejection of Pakistani cricketers should be a lesson for their government.
India should ban all artistes and sportsmen from Pakistan and Australia.