Page last updated at 19:34 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Pakistan call on India to conduct IPL 'snub' inquiry

Shahid Afridi
The exclusion of Pakistani players was a surprise

Pakistan has urged India to investigate why none of its cricketers were signed at last week's Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in Mumbai (Bombay).

Many in Pakistan have taken exception to what they see as a snub.

"We want the government of India to intervene... and let us know who was responsible," Pakistan's Sports Minister Ijaz Jhakrani said.

On Monday Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said he was disappointed Pakistani players were not included.

"I think it is a disservice to cricket that some of these players were not picked," Mr Chidambaram said.

"I don't know why the IPL teams acted in the manner they acted. But certainly to suggest that there was a hint or nudge from the government is completely untrue."

Correspondents say the fact there were no bids for any of the 11 Pakistani cricketers on offer was a major surprise. Pakistan has some of the best players of this form of the game and are currently world champions.

Strained ties

Mr Jhakrani welcomed Mr Chidambaram's statement, calling it a positive sign.

"It vindicates our stance," he said, adding that it was "crystal clear there had been involvement of a third player in influencing the IPL auction".

Shilpa Shetty, Lalit Modi and Preity Zinta
IPL team owners say too much is being read into the issue

In a separate development, Mr Jhakrani's ministry has delayed granting permission to the Pakistani golf team's tour of India next month.

The row over the IPL auctions comes at a time when relations between India and Pakistan are already strained.

India blamed the 2008 attack on Mumbai (Bombay) on Pakistan-based militants. At least 174 people were killed, nine of them gunmen, and peace moves have been on hold since.

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