The uncertainty over their availability cost Pakistani players the lucrative Indian Premier League contracts as apprehensive franchisees overlooked them in the auction held here on Tuesday.
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi conceded the biggest question facing the franchisees was the availability of the players they would buy and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Shilpa Shetty said her team did not bid for any Pakistani players simply because they were not sure about their availability.
“We were not convinced about their availability and that’s why we did not want to take any risk,” Ms. Shetty said after her team bought veteran Australian Damien Martyn for $100,000.
Giving the instance of Sohail Tanvir, who played a crucial role in Rajasthan Royal’s fairytale win in the inaugural IPL, Ms. Shetty said there was no question of bidding for a player who might not be available in the tournament.
“See, every team has its own strategy. If someone is not going to be available, why bid for him,” asked the actor, who was in touch with captain Shane Warne over phone before she bought veteran Australian Damien Martyn.
Eleven Pakistani players, including the ones who won the Twenty20 World Cup, were in the fray but none of the franchisees took interest in them, fearing their unavailability in the tournament.