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No Conspiracy Against Pak Players, Says Modi

PTI 22 Jan 2010, 16:02:12 PM IST

Indian Premier League Commissioner Lalit Modi on Friday rejected allegations that Pakistani cricketers were deliberately snubbed at the players' auction and blamed the entire furore on media bias. 

"The media is biased. No one talks about the players from countries like Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe being picked in the auction. There was no preconceived conspiracy to leave Pakistani players," Modi said in Mumbai.

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

The Pakistani government has gone to the extent of saying that the country would give a befitting reply to the "humiliating" treatment meted out to its cricketers. Bollywood actor and Rajasthan Royals team's co-owner Shilpa Shetty also denied any planned conspiracy against the players from Pakistan.

"I don't owe any explanation. We are not a small country and the decision was not a contrived one. There is nothing bigger than cricket but everything is getting murky," Shetty said.

"I am very hurt and there have been hate mails also. We have lost some of the greatest players in the world, but why doesn't anyone talk about Australia, England and so many others who were not picked in the auction?" she added. PTI