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India have always welcomed Pakistani cricketers: Modi

February 19, 2010 15:52 IST

Lalit ModiIndian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi has said that Pakistani players have always been welcomed in India and it is foolish to think there is some sort of conspiracy to keep them out of the IPL season three.

"We have always welcomed Pakistani cricketers in India and they will be part of IPL season four," Modi told the Geo news channel.

Modi said that Pakistani cricketers would play in IPL season four and would hopefully be part of the two new franchises that would be included in the next IPL season.

"But I think the Pakistan cricket Board also needs to adopt a positive mindset towards the IPL, like always we have always welcomed Pakistani cricketers to India," he said.

Modi said it was a misconception that the Indian cricket board was behind the decision of franchises not to bid for Pakistani cricketers in the players auction for season three.

"We can't force the franchises to bid for players from any country in the players auction. It is their team and they are free to decide which players they want. How can anyone blame the BCCI for this?" Modi added.

Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ejaz Butt recently told a Senate standing committee on sports hearing that Modi had told the franchises not to bid for Pakistani players as they were lot of security issues linked to them playing in India.

Pakistan has also described the IPL snub to its players as a deliberate attempt to humiliate them after including them in the players auction list.

Pacer Sohail Tanvir who was the top performer for Rajasthan Royals, the winners of the first IPL season, also said he could not see any logic behind franchise ignoring Pakistani players at the auction.

"Forget about me I am not in the top category of players but tell how can any franchise not bid for experienced T20 specialist performers like Shahid Afridi or Umar Gul or for an exciting young talent like Umar Akmal at the players auction, obviously there was something fishy about the whole thing," Tanvir said.

He admitted that not being able to play in the IPL season three was a big disappointment for him.

"I was the best bowler of the first tournament and I want another opportunity to prove to everyone that performance was not a fluke. I am eager to play in the IPL once again whenever possible," Tanvir added.

Modi also said in his interview that until now after the players auction he had not spoken to the PCB on the IPL issue.

"I have had no discussions on the IPL with the PCB," he said.

He maintained that it had always been the wish of the Indian cricket board to include players from all countries taking part in the league and also being part of the players auction.

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