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Former Foreign Secretaries Describe IPL Snub As Shocking

PTI January 21, 2010 15:52 IST

Former foreign secretary Muchkund Dubey on Wednesday described as “totally irrational” the sidelining of 11 Pakistani cricketers by the IPL franchisees, saying Pakistan was World T20 champion. Dubey said this could not have happened without a nudge or hint from some wing of the government. 

 “Pakistan is the world champion and plays brilliant cricket. It would be very difficult for team managements not to vie for some of them. It is really shameful if the Board of Control for Cricket in India was behind this. This is against the ethics of sports, against the ethics of managing such things. This is very shocking and short-sighted. Just because our relations are not normal and there is some tension in our ties, this does not mean we should touch such depths”, Dubey said. 

Another former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal said that if the episode was related to politics, then it was unnecessary because Pakistan was a very solid cricketing nation. 

“They have excellent players and the selection should have been purely in the realm of sports. The current problem at the political level should not have been a determining factor. More so when contacts at the people-to-people level are increasing and Pakistani delegations are meeting their Indian counterparts to improve their relations”, Sibal said. 

Former External Affairs minister K Natwar Singh had a different take. “The government has no control. If no one bids for them what can you do? If people are investing so much money, they cannot be forced to select a player from this or that nation”, he said.