New Delhi/ Karachi: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has said the Indian government had “nothing to do” with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisees not picking up any Pakistani cricketers.
“The Government has got nothing to do with the IPL selection. Pakistan should know where to draw the line,” said Krishna in a statement in New Delhi.
That won’t be cooling tempers in Pakistani, where sportspersons and politicians feel that their nation has been humiliated.
Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas has suggested that the national hockey team should be withdrawn from the World Cup in India to protest the "humiliating" treatment meted out to the country's cricketers at the Indian Premier League auction.
Abbas said he would talk to sports minister Ejaz Jakhrani on the matter. The World Cup is due to held from last week of February in Delhi with Pakistan facing India in their opening match of a tournament they have not won since 1994.
"We need to make some sort of strong statement conveying our feelings over the way the IPL organisers and franchises deliberately insulted our cricketers at the auction," Abbas said.
Not a single Pakistani cricketer found a buyer at the glitzy auction held in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Abbas, a former Test batsman, said Pakistan must be clear about its sports policy with India and act accordingly.
"We must be clear about how we should have sporting relations with India because for the last one year they have been doing everything possible to hurt our image and isolate us internationally," he said.
Jakhrani, while talking to the media after a National Assembly session, said Pakistan would be reviewing its sporting ties with India.
Jakhrani said the Pakistan Cricket Board should have taken into consideration everything before pressing the government to give clearance for Pakistani players to take part in the IPL.
"The PCB should have been more careful and analytical. And I will bring up this issue with the chief patron of the board," he said.
Jamshed Dasti, the chairperson of the National Assembly standing committee on sports, blamed the PCB leadership for the humiliation the players had to face at the IPL auction.
"This is not the first time the board and Chairman, Ejaz Butt have failed miserably to handle things properly and read the situation correctly," he said.
"That is why the NA standing committee has urged the chief patron to immediately change the Chairman of the board and make other changes in the cricket set-up," he said.
Dasti said it was the PCB's job to give proper advice to players on whether to make themselves available for the IPL or not.
"The PCB should have first got some assurance from the IPL chairman, Lalit Modi before allowing our players to send their clearance to the Indians," Dasti said.