With Rajasthan Royals having three Pakistan players – Sohail Tanvir, Kamran Akmal and Younus Khan – in the squad, the team officials are understandably concerned about their availability for the second edition starting on April 10.
“The decision in this matter is not with us or the IPL or even the boards of the two countries. It has to be taken at the government level,” Manoj Badale, chairman of Emerging Media and Rajasthan Royals, said on Thursday.
“Obviously, if they don’t come we have to make other arrangements and we plan to get one or two new players before the new season. But we have most of our bases covered.”
Badale was of the opinion that the absence of the Pakistan players from the IPL would send the wrong signal. “I think it would be a shame for the IPL and the Rajasthan Royals if they (Pakistan players) don’t come. We cannot allow terrorists to disrupt our way of life.”
But he denied that the IPL champions would suffer if the cricketers from across the border do not join them in the second season.
“Younus Khan is a squad player and played only one match last year. As far as Akmal is concerned, we already have a very good wicketkeeper-batsman in Mahesh Rawat. We would only miss Sohail Tanvir, the highest wicket-taker in the first season, but I think South African Morne Morkel is a very good fast bowler and can make up for Tanvir,” Badale said. “In any case, if we are affected, so will be the other teams.”