Legendary fast bowler Imran Khan said on Sunday that Pakistani players had suffered “insulting treatment” at the hands of the Indian Premier League, and no player should take part in the tournament.
Eleven top Pakistani cricketers were up for grabs at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in mid-January but none were picked, sparking outrage in Pakistan and accusations against arch-rival India of political meddling.
“IPL did injustice to Pakistani players – in fact it was insulting treatment meted out to players who are world champions, and we should never send our players to the league,” said Khan, a former captain turned politician.
“Pakistani cricketers are the best in the world and the PCB should protest this with the Indian Board and boycott the IPL,” he said.
“They totally disrespected the Pakistani players. If they had security problems they should have dealt with them before the auction.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already revoked permission for players to feature in the third edition of the IPL in March-April, while PCB chief Ijaz Butt has also said the nation’s cricketers are banned from the tournament.
Former players have demanded that the national hockey team boycott the upcoming World Cup in New Delhi in protest, while Pakistan’s sports minister complained to his Indian counterpart.
Former players and politicians have also called for a boycott of the 2011 cricket World Cup, jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“We should play in the World Cup, even if we have to play in India, because the World Cup is a global event and if we don’t play, our cricket will suffer badly,” said Khan, one of the top four all-rounders to play the game.