Pakistan players' participation in IPL to be discussed - Shukla
The participation of Pakistan players in next year's IPL will come up for discussion during the next IPL governing council meeting on October 14, Rajiv Shukla, the league's chairman, has said. Pakistan players have not taken part in the IPL following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, and even though 11 of them featured in the auction list for the third edition of the tournament in 2010, none were picked up by the franchises. Some of the franchises put it down to the uncertainty over their availability following a breakdown in diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan.
"This decision has to be taken by the Governing Council. It is not that Pakistan as a country has been banned in IPL," Shukla told PTI. "Their (Pakistani) referees' services have been utilised. Some franchises have taken Pakistani former players as coaches also and supporting staff as well. So it is not that Pakistan as a whole has been banned or something. There is no question of banning anyone."
The final call, however, rested with the franchises, Shukla said. "About Pakistani players, it is purely up to the franchises to decide whether they want to take Pakistani players or not. And we have to keep certain considerations in mind before deciding about it."
With regards to the resumption of cricketing ties with Pakistan, Shukla said matters of security and scheduling needed to be resolved before going ahead. He was also not too keen on the idea of playing at a neutral venue. "We have worked together. The question is about the circumstances and certain issues ... in terms of security. Those issues are to be sorted out. Then only, we can think of it.
"At the same time, there is no slot available. If there is slot available, then all these things can be discussed. Everybody wants cricket ties to be revived, to be resumed but slot has to be there to resume the ties.
"Secondly the atmosphere should be congenial because I am of the view that we should play on each others' soil instead of playing at a third venue. There is no point on playing at a third venue."
The termination of the Kochi franchise and the number of teams for the next IPL will also be discussed at the meeting.