This refers to the editorial “A humiliating non-auction” (Jan. 22). The act of Indian Premier League franchises — of ignoring all the 11 Pakistani players during the player auction ahead of its third edition — was eminently avoidable. If security was the concern, the names of the players should have been excluded from the bidding list. I do not think that except in a few places like Mumbai, security threat would have been greatly enhanced because of the inclusion of some Pakistani players in the tournament.
Money and success seem to have gone into the heads of those who run the IPL. It is also evident that this sort of thing could not have happened without a hint from someone in power. Sports should build bridges, not dig trenches, between people.
It may be the franchises’ prerogative to choose the players of their choice. But, inadvertently, the IPL has dragged the nation into a controversy which has larger implications.
Would it not be nicer if the franchises opt to feed the millions of poor with their fabulous wealth and try to make India hunger-free?
The IPL is a commercial venture and all decisions taken by its franchises are dictated by business considerations.
Their actions, therefore, cannot be seen as a reflection of India- Pakistan ties. What we need to do is build trust between the people of both countries.
The use of terms such as “shame” and “humiliation,” with reference to the non-selection of Pakistani players in the auction, is quite exaggerated. The decision of the IPL franchises was purely commercial. The bidding price of a player is akin to share prices in the stock market — more reflective of future expectations than past performance.
Uncertainty in terms of player availability and possible security issues seem to have guided the decision of the franchises. It makes perfect business sense not to take chances when the stakes are huge.
The media on both sides of the border seem to have seized the opportunity to politicise the issue, prompting Ministers to make statements. What is so humiliating about a business decision based on costs outweighing benefits?
New Delhi or the BCCI had no role to play in the player auction ahead of IPL III. The concern of the franchises that Pakistani cricketers might have visa problems seems to be genuine. The matter should be closed once and for all.