Pakistani cricketers have once again been left out of the list of players to be auctioned for the Indian Premier League (IPL), the sixth edition of which will be played in April-May this year.
The list of 101 players to be auctioned on Sunday next does not feature a single Pakistani player despite the resumption of bilateral cricket ties between the two neighbours in December last year.
Pakistani players have been excluded from the IPL since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The Pakistan Cricket Board has been pushing hard for their inclusion, but thoseÂ efforts have not paid off even this year.
The decision to keep Pakistani players out of the IPL this year too was reportedly taken in December, before the recent tension between the two countries at the border.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had hinted earlier last year thatÂ it would at least include them for the auction, but then decided not to. A top IPL official said, "It is for the franchises to decide their teams. The franchises invest a lot of money and they do not want to take a risk by including Pakistani players. The idea is to play it safe."
The BCCI reportedly wanted to avoid controversies. There have been protests against the inclusion of Pakistani sportspersons in tournaments held in India by parties like the Shiv Sena.
The Sena had objected to the series played against Pakistan in December.
Recently, Pakistani hockey players were sent back from the Hockey India League, after the tension at the Line of Control.
The World Cup matches that the Pakistani women's cricket team was to have played in Mumbai were shifted to Cuttack following protests by the Shiv Sena.