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Pak Says India's IPL Re-Think A Welcome Move

PTI 28 Jan 2010, 9:25:28 AM IST

Pakistan responded positively to indications that there might be a re-think on IPL's snub to its cricketers, saying the blame-game between the two countries should end, not only in the field of sports, but on other issues as well. 

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the statement of Indian authorities on the issue was "welcome". 

"I welcome this statement of India authorities that they would consider it (including Pakistani players in the IPL). 

"I believe not only in the field of games but all our issues should be resolved as we are neighbouring countries, and the blame game should end," he was quoted as saying by Dawn News. 

Earlier, Sports Minister M S Gill said the Indian Premier League authorities should take a lesson from the auction "fiasco" and hoped that players from across the border would get a chance to play in the T20 event. 

"I have seen the graceful response of some Pakistani cricketers to the IPL auction fiasco. I welcome the remarks and hope there will soon be an opportunity for these boys to play exciting cricket in India," Gill said. 

Home Minister P Chidambaram had also chided the IPL franchises over their handling of the auction, saying the exclusion of Pakistani players was "disservice to cricket". 

Besieged by criticism from all quarters, IPL Chairman Lalit Modi has said that cricketers from Pakistan still have a chance to be a part of the Twenty20 event as some teams were still to finish their quota of players. 

"Some teams have still not finished their quota of players and some players could drop out, franchises can choose Pakistani players as replacements or to fill vacancies," Modi said. 

He also denied any government role in the Pakistani players' non-selection at the auction. 

Malik said: "lets hope for the second edition and see what their (IPL's) attitude is, and as they have said its a good thing, we welcome it". 

All the 11 Pakistani players went unsold at the Mumbai auction earlier this month and Modi said it was the franchises' decision to not pick them and entire Pakistan cried foul after the snub. 

Players like Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir called it a 'humiliation' of their country but subsequently offered to put behind the episode and make themselves available for the cash-awash league. PTI