Lahore:Miffed at the snub given to Pakistani players at the third Indian Premier League auction, the country's Cricket Board on Friday said it would lodge a formal protest with the ICC.
After a meeting here, PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt and the Federal minister for sports Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani said they have unanimously decided to take up the issue with the ICC.
"We will be lodging a complaint with the ICC and I will personally table this issue at the next meeting of the ICC executive board on February 10," Butt said.
He said the entire country was shocked and disappointed at the way the Pakistani players were first included in the auction and then deliberately ignored by the franchise owners.
"The IPL may be a private and commercial enterprise but this issue involves the pride of a nation and we are going to pursue it with the ICC," he said.
The PCB chief pointed out that the excuses being offered by IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and franchise owners for not bidding for the Pakistani cricketers was without substance.
"They should tell us if franchises had reservations about signing Pakistani players because they were worried about security issues and availability of the players why were our players included in the auction in the first place," he said.
"If IPL franchise have so many issues with signing our players then why did the IPL first approach us to send them government clearances for the players," he said.
"They should have told us clearly they couldn't include our players this year because of whatever problems," Butt said.
He said there was no doubt that Pakistani players were ignored at the auction for ulterior motives.
Jakhrani echoed the views and said the government would back any move by the PCB to pursue the matter with the ICC.
"This issue is of very serious concern to us. We don't believe our players are so weak that franchises ignored them. We are the world champions," he said.
Jakhrani said he had held discussions with Butt and it was agreed that while Pakistan believed in keeping politics separate from sports but the IPL snub can not be ignored.
Jakhrani, however, dismissed any chances of the government not allowing the national hockey team to go to India next month for the World Cup in New Delhi.
"No there will be no boycott of the World Cup as it is an international event not an Indian one and we would like our players to go to India and perform well there," he said.
Effigies of IPL officials and Bollywood stars have been burnt during street protests in some cities by angry fans and the powerful All Pakistan Cable Operators Association has decided not to air any channel which telecasts IPL matches.