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'IPL Snub Due To 'Variables Extraneous To Sports': Pak

PTI 22 Jan 2010, 16:45:40 IST

Miffed at the snub to Pakistani cricketers in the Indian Premier League auction on Tuesday, Pakistan's Foreign Office has accused that the incident was influenced by "variables extraneous to sports".

The comment came after India's External Affairs Ministry yesterday issued a release saying it was unfair to blame New Delhi for non-selection of the Pakistani players in the auction for the cash-awash IPL III.

 "It is clear from the press release that the decision to not include Pakistani cricketers was influenced by variables extraneous to sports and the press release is self-explanatory as to why the cricketers were not included in the bidding process," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told media.

"It's ironic that instead of requesting sporting agencies to resolve the issue, India is again engaging in a blame game, point-scoring and continuing its unwillingness to resolve bilateral issues through dialogue and peaceful means," he added.

India had yesterday said that "Blaming Indian government for the absence of Pakistani players from the IPL is unfortunate."

"Pakistan should introspect on the reasons which have put a strain on relations between India and Pakistan, and have adversely impacted on peace, stability and prosperity in the region," India had said.

All the 11 Pakistani cricketers, from a 67-strong pool of players, found no takers at the glitzy auction held in Mumbai on Tuesday. The incident has outraged players, politicians and fans across the border.

Civil society groups and political parties have protested against the incident, while association of the cable TV operators in the country has announced that they will not show any IPL match.

Members of a civil society groups even burnt effigies of IPL Commissioner and Chairman Lalit Modi outside the Press Club in Lahore protesting against the incident. PTI