It has been said many times that Politics and Sports should never be mixed, but when it comes to India and Pakistan it’s sometimes hard to keep the two apart. None of the eleven shortlisted players from T20 World Champion Team – Pakistan were picked up by any of the eight franchises at the DLF IPL auction for season 3. Can this be genuine? Why were Pakistani players put through the imitation of entering the auction when they were to be boycotted by the franchises?
According to Dawn an unidentified franchise official told AFP that he was not surprised because nobody was willing to take a chance due to uncertainty regarding Pakistani player’s availability. Shahid Afridi has also called it a humiliation of players adding that, “We applied for the IPL only on their insistence and not on our own.”
IPL is a heavily commercialized, lucrative form of the game and practical business considerations matter more for the franchises. So it could be obvious that it was dictated and directed by the officials to not to bid for Pakistani players. The fear of reprisal may have made franchises hesitant to gamble on a Pakistani player.
Is it the true sportsmen spirit or prejudice which has been showcased by Indian Franchise owners while there is a media campaign ‘Aman Ki Asha‘ by the two leading media groups of Indo Pak is going on to mobilize peace process?