NEW DEHLI: Pakistan's cricketers will continue to miss out on the Indian Premier League (IPL) bonanza after none of them were included in the auction for next year's money-spinning event, organisers said on Tuesday.
No Pakistani featured in a list of 416 players whose services will be auctioned in Bangalore on January 8-9 for the fourth edition of the Twenty20 tournament, which is to be held in April and May. Pakistani cricketers took part in the inaugural IPL in 2008, but were forced out of the 2009 edition due to security concerns in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, and were then ignored for the 2010 tournament.
An IPL official said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had not forwarded any names for the January auction. "The rules stipulate that a player must apply through his home board if he wanted to be put up for the auction. No names were received from Pakistan," the official told AFP.
Some top stars from other countries opted out. The Australian trio of captain Ricky Ponting, his deputy Michael Clarke and fast bowler Mitchell Johnson chose to give the event a miss. Other notable absentees include former Australian stars Matthew Hayden and Glenn McGrath.
The former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who signed for 1.55 million dollars with the Chennai Super Kings in 2009, has retired. But ex-West Indian captain Brian Lara, 41, who was not part of the first three editions, has thrown his hat in the ring despite bowing out of international cricket in April 2007.
Other first-timers include England's Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Michael Yardy and Luke Wright. The eight founder franchises will be joined by two new teams from Kochi and Pune for the auction. Twelve players who were retained by their franchises will not feature in the auction. Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, West Indian Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka were retained by the Mumbai Indians.
Reigning champions Chennai Super Kings kept Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay and South African all-rounder Albie Morkel. The Aussie duo of Shane Warne and Shane Watson were retained by Rajasthan Royals, while Delhi Daredevils kept Virender Sehwag and Bangalore Royal Challengers retained Virat Kohli.
The tournament, due to run from April 8 to May 22, will be the first without the IPL's chief architect Lalit Modi, who was thrown out by the Indian board over accusations about his conduct. The Indian board has registered a criminal case against him for the misappropriation of Rs4.68 billion ($106 million) and he also faces a government probe over alleged financial irregularities.
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