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PCB bars players from IPL
Apologise, Butt tells Lalit Modi

Karachi, January 29
Pakistan cricket board chairman Ejaz Butt today demanded an apology from Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi for the IPL auction fiasco and made it clear that no Pakistani cricketer can play in the Twenty20 tournament without PCB permission.

Hours after revoking the NOCs issued to the players for IPL III, Butt said while he welcomes sympathy for the Pakistani cricketers from certain Indian quarters, the IPL authorities should tender an apology.

“We have cancelled all these NOCs and I have told all players, including Abdul Razzaq, clearly that they cannot go to India to play without our permission. Razzaq and other players agree with our viewpoint,” he said.

“While the statements coming from Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram are very good, and those of Bollywood figures like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan positive, we expect an apology from IPL,” said the Pakistan Cricket Board chief.

Butt there was no doubt that the Pakistani players were humiliated and insulted at the January 19 IPL auction in Mumbai, where none of the 11 players landed a contract.

Defending the decision to revoke NOCs, Butt said, “We have not taken this decision on any government directive nor do we see a diplomatic row going on with India because of the IPL issue. But purely from a cricket point of view the treatment given to our players is unacceptable.”

Butt said while he was a firm supporter of bilateral cricket relations with India, the PCB could not be silent spectator to its players being treated unfairly or in a insulting manner at any forum.

“I think Modi should follow what the Indian Home Minister and Sports Minister have said,” he said.

The PCB chairman also made it clear that any decision on allowing Pakistani players to take part in IPL III or IV would be taken only after consulting government and after the players got proper contracts from franchisees.

No Pakistani player was bid for at the IPL auction last week by the franchisees, leading to a diplomatic row between the two countries. — PTI



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