NATIONAL

A disservice to cricket: Chidambaram

NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday chided the Indian Premier League (IPL) for ignoring Pakistani players, terming their exclusion “a disservice to cricket” and maintaining that the government had no role in it.

Lamenting the exclusion, he described some of the players as “among the best Twenty20,” and said: “These players were coming as individuals, it was not a Pakistan team.”

“...I think it is disservice to cricket that some of these players were not picked. I don’t know why the IPL teams acted in the manner they acted. But certainly to suggest that there was a hint or nudge from the government is completely untrue,” Mr. Chidambaram told Times Now.

None of the eight IPL teams bought any Pakistani players during an auction last week for the third edition of the competition despite Pakistan’s world champion status in the Twenty20 format of cricket.

The exclusion made the Pakistan government see red and it called off official visits to India.

Asked if Pakistan over-reacted over exclusion of its players, Mr. Chidambaram said: “Well, you see, if no player from a country is picked, obviously the country does feel insulted. But whether the reaction is proportionate or not it is not for me to comment on.”

Pointing out that the government had issued 17 visas for the players, he said, “...We gave the visas and we have nothing to do with this [exclusion],” he said. — Indo-Asian News Service

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