MS Gill criticises IPL fiasco, hopes to see Pakistani players in India

Sympathy continues to pour in for the snubbed Pakistani players with sports minister MS Gill, on Wednesday, advising the IPL authorities to take a lesson from the auction “fiasco” and hoping that players from across the border would get a chance to play in the T20 event.

None of the 11 Pakistani players in the fray was picked by any of the eight Indian Premier League franchisees in the January 19 auction 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.

Asked for his reaction on the Pakistani players’ stance, Gill said he welcomed their statement and would like to see them play in India again.

“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.

Clearly unhappy with collective snub to the Pakistani cricketers, Gill asked the franchisee owners to learn a lesson from the episode.

Earlier, Home Minister P Chidambaram had also chided the IPL franchisees, saying the franchisees had done a “disservice” to the game by ignoring the Pakistani players.

Chidambaram said the cricket lovers were disappointed by the franchisees’ behaviour and felt the entire controversy was avoidable.

Even though the incident triggered off a series of tit-for-tat gestures by Pakistan, the hockey federation there assured they remain committed to their participation in the World Cup beginning next month.

Welcoming the statement, Gill said, “I have noted reports of the secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation of their preparations to come for the Hockey World Cup in Delhi. I look forward to an exciting opening match between India and Pakistan on February 28.”

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