Melbourne: Rajasthan Royals coach Darren Berry on Monday lashed out at the Indian Premier League authorities for "humiliating" the Pakistani players in the January 19 auction and alleged "politics and foreign affairs got in the way of cricket decisions".
Berry said his team was eyeing Umar Akmal but something "sinister was bubbling behind the scenes", resulting in the collective snub to the Pakistani players in the auction in Mumbai.
"I do not have all the information - and possibly never will as this was a very delicate issue played out behind the scenes. However, I do know - due to my coaching role with the Rajasthan Royals - that a few weeks ago Umar Akmal was No. 1 priority on the Royals' shopping list," Berry wrote in The Age.
"All of a sudden he was not available. As the auction unfolded live on TV in India, it became evident that it wasn't just Umar Akmal who was in the no-go zone, but all of the Pakistan players," said the former Australia cricketer.
Baffled by the treatment meted out to the Pakistan players during the auction, Berry said the likes of Shahid Afridi are justified in feeling slighted.
"I am staggered at the recent treatment of the Pakistan players. I agree with Shahid Afridi that he and his countrymen were humiliated in the IPL auction in Mumbai last week.
Unbelievably, the world Twenty20 champions received no interest from any of the franchise owners.
"Sadly, politics and foreign affairs got in the way of cricket decisions and the game itself, along with the Pakistan players, suffered as a consequence...
"The question is: why were they allowed to stay in the auction if no one was going to bid for them? Something far more sinister was bubbling behind the scenes and, sadly, the players themselves knew nothing about it. Sadly, two very proud cricketing nations are once again at loggerheads," he said.