It was the third year of the IPL auction and I am yet to get in terms with this bidding format. Why? Well, this auctioning of players gives me a feeling of slave trading with a modern day shrewdness and capitalistic ruthlessness. May be a bit over the top, but it's completely a personal opinion.
As compared to the first two auctions, this auction went underway sans much hullaballoo. While almost everybody knew there were just around 13 slots to be filled and some of players were the frontrunners, there were quite a few shocks and surprises in store for us.
Kieron Pollard, reportedly drawing a whopping $2.75 million just for a single season raised many eyebrows. But what astonished everyone was the conspicuous cold-shoulder to Pakistan players. Most of them were among the frontrunners for the available slots. But none of the eleven Pakistani players, including Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir and Umar Gul, found any takers.
Soon this snub became bigger than the auction itself. Every current and former Pakistani players expressed their anger. Some of them went on to call it a politically motivated step and an insult to their nation. My question, why make such a fuss out of it? Though from cricketing point of view it is disappointing, but why give it a political colour?
India and Pakistan have had a simmering relation for decades and such comments won't help the cause either. Besides, the Indian Premier League is completely a cash-driven private venture with owners splashing money over players they want in their side.
Last year, Pakistan had asked to its players stay away from the T20 event citing security reasons following the Mumbai terror attacks. This year they are crying foul. However, teams like Rajasthan Royals who were heavily benefitted from the presence of Sohail Tanvir in the title winning first season, missed him in the second season.
In the third auction, team owners said they did not bid for the Pak players because their availability was a major issue. They have burnt their hands already and with such huge money at risk, why expect them to act as political diplomats when they are here to compete in full-force and make money?
IPL is a perfect amalgam of cricket, business, entertainment and glitz, and it should be treated just like that. Yes, it has to comply with the government guidelines but it shouldn't be forced into the political domain unnecessarily.
Sometimes I feel this world would have been a better place if we avoided reading between the lines everywhere.