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No IPL ever, says Pak board

“We are never going to allow our players to participate in IPL again. What they (IPL) did is not only embarrassing, it is also an insult to us,” Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ijaz Butt said, reports Bivabasu Kumar.

cricket Updated: Jan 24, 2010 01:13 IST
Bivabasu Kumar

Pakistan will not allow any of its players to take part in future editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Speaking to Hindustan Times on Saturday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ijaz Butt said: “We are never going to allow our players to participate in IPL again. What they (IPL) did is not only embarrassing, it is also an insult to us.”

This is the first time since the January 19 IPL players’

auction that the PCB chief has reacted with specific accusations. Butt called the snub a “conspiracy” against Pakistani cricketers and said the “entire incident was pre-planned”.

“It cannot always be a unilateral decision by Mr Lalit Modi that he cannot be questioned for any of his decisions or actions. That’s not on,” said Butt. “After the auction, I tried to call him on several occasions and there’s some courtesy in returning a call. But no, he completely avoided talking to me.”

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi refused to comment on the PCB’s plans to boycott the IPL but told HT: “We don’t call any board to inform them if their players have been taken or not. And I have not got any message or calls from him (Ijaz Butt).”

Butt questioned the need to invite Pakistan in the first place if the IPL didn’t want them in the third edition of the event, and rubbished the availability issue cited by some franchisee owners.

“First, we were asked to get permission from the government for our players to play in IPL. Then, they wanted permission from the foreign office of Pakistan, and we got that in writing. After that, they wanted a no-objection letter from the interior ministry, which

we got them too,” an angry Butt said.

He added: “They (IPL) then asked us to clear visa-related issues, to whichI said the Indian government should be granting visas. But we stillcontacted Indian sports minister Mr (M.S.) Gill and he arranged visas for all our players. After all this, what makes our friends Mr Lalit Modi & Company question the availability of our players? Isn't that ridiculous and insulting?”

Butt said the plan to cold-shoulder Pakistani cricketers was deliberate, in order to prevent them playing with and against international players in the IPL, which could be a preparation for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean later this summer. He also rejected the security concerns cited by Rajasthan Royals co-owner

Shilpa Shetty, who had said on Friday that the teams couldn't take the onus of providing security to Pakistani cricketers. “If it's unsafe for our players to play in India, then why call India a safe country,” asked thePCB chief.

“And if that is the case, they shouldn't hold the tournament at all. How can they hold a tournament if they aren't sure about security? Pakistan is going to participate in the hockey World Cup in India next month and there's no security issue, then why give such lame excuses where our cricketers are concerned?” Butt asked.

Butt, who met Pakistan sports minister Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani on Friday, said the PCB would raise this issue at the February 10 meeting of the International Cricket Council.