IPL decision influenced by variables unrelated to sports: Pak Foreign Office

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Islamabad, Jan 22(ANI): Pakistan Foreign Office has reiterated that the exclusion of Pakistani cricketers from the bidding process for the Indian Premier League (IPL) "is a decision influenced by variables extraneous to sports".

There has been anger in Pakistan over Tuesday's IPL season three auction, in which not even one of the 11 available Pakistani players received bids from the eight competing franchises.

After the turmoil the Indian High Commission had released a statement, saying it was unfair to blame New Delhi for the non-selection, but Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit attributed it to political factors.

"It is clear from the press release of the Indian High Commission that the decision to not include Pakistani cricketers was influenced by variables extraneous to sports and the press release is self-explanatory as to why the cricketers were not included in the bidding process," The Dawn quoted Basit, as saying.

"It is ironic that instead of requesting sporting agencies to resolve the issue, India is again engaging in blame game, point scoring and continuing its unwillingness to resolve bilateral issues through dialogue and peaceful means," he added.

The Indian Government had also rubbished Pakistan's claim that its players did not win IPL contracts because of politics or visa concerns, and said that such apprehensions were misplaced.

"The participation or absence of Pakistani cricketers in a commercial event of the nature of IPL is, thus, a matter not within the purview of the government," the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

It has also termed the allegations as "unfortunate" and asked Pakistan to introspect on the reasons, which have put a strain on relations between the two countries, and have adversely impacted on peace, stability and prosperity in the region. (ANI)

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