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Angry Afridi Says, IPL, India Have Made Fun Of Us

PTI 19 Jan 2010, 17:05:42 IST

Pakistani cricketers, who were ignored by the Indian Premier League franchisees in Tuesday's auction, have reacted angrily to the snub with Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi saying that the IPL's attitude was disappointing.

Afridi, who was supposed to be the main attraction for franchises at the IPL auction in Mumbai, said from Brisbane he was disappointed and upset with the way things panned out. "The way I see it, the IPL and India have made fun of us and our country by treating us this way," Afridi said.

"We are the Twenty20 World Champions and for me the attitude of the franchises was disappointing. I feel bad for the Indian people who I am sure wanted to see us play in the IPL this year," Afridi said.

Afridi was the first player to be put on auction with a base price of USD 250,000 but no franchise was interested in buying him.

Franchises preferred West Indian, South African and Australian players while ignoring the 11 Pakistani players who were available in the auction for sale. The franchises said Pakistani players' availability was not certain and they couldn't risk their money on them.

Afridi was among the batch of Pakistani players who played in the first IPL season for Deccan Chargers.

Senior all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who was also among the players in the auction, said he saw the snub to Pakistani players as a joint strategy between the IPL and Indian government to insult Pakistan players.

"They have basically tried to hurt our cricket and image and this is most disappointing because I believe there should be no politics in sports," Razzaq said.

He also questioned the inclusion of Pakistani players in the auction list if the franchises were not interested.

"In the end it is the IPL which has lost out because the fact is our players have star value and are the best in T20 cricket," he added.

All-rounder Sohail Tanvir, who was the best bowler of the inaugural IPL season and played a big role in helping Rajasthan Royals win the title, said he felt humiliated and angry with what transpired at the auction.

"They mean to say none of our players are good enough to be in the IPL. I am sorry to say the franchises have taken a decision not based on cricketing sense but on political grounds which is a shame and has hurt the image of the sport," Tanvir said.

He pointed out that if the IPL and franchises had reservations over having Pakistani players they should have made it clear beforehand.

"Why create all this fuss about visa requirements and government clearances. If they don't want us they should be clear about it in the first place.", Tanvir said. PTI