Pakistani cricketers will not feature in the third edition of the Indian Premier League this year after being ignored by franchises at the players' auction on Tuesday.
None of the 11 Pakistanis who went under the hammer, including flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi, were sold despite their national team being the reigning World Twenty20 champions.
Pakistani cricketers took part in the IPL's inaugural season in 2008, but were denied permission by Islamabad to play last year due to growing political tensions with India.
Multi-millionaire owners of the eight clubs, who attended the auction, declined to comment on why the Pakistanis were kept out.
But a franchise official, who preferred to remain unnamed, told AFP that he was not surprised.
"We were not sure if the Pakistanis will get visas and we did not want players who won't be available," he said. "Besides, there is also the security issue. No one was willing to take a chance."
Of the 66 players up for bid, only 11 were sold, with West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard and New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond drawing the highest prices at 750,000 dollars each.
Pollard was picked up by Mumbai Indians, owned by India's richest industrialist Mukesh Ambani, while Bond went to Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders.
Another West Indian, Kemar Roach, attracted 720,000 dollars from 2009 champions Deccan Chargers. Promising South African paceman Wayne Parnell was sold to Delhi Daredevils for 610,000 dollars.
The auction was held for cricketers not already linked with any IPL team and was limited to the third edition, which will be held across India from March 12 to April 25.
From 2011 onwards, when the number of teams will be increased from eight to 10, a fresh auction will be held for all cricketers for a three-year term.
Other star players who were ignored at the auction were Australian Test wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, England spinner Graeme Swann, West Indian Ramnaresh Sarwan and Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan.