Pakistani cricketers, the press and ordinary people are livid about their players' exclusion from India's Premier League , the game's most lucrative tournament played out before a vast television audience. Eight Indian teams that take part in the tournament bid for players from around the world, doling out large sums of money. But nobody bid for the 11 Pakistani players on the list, includng some who were part of the Pakistani squad that won last year's World Cup Twenty20 tournament, the three-hour version of the game that the IPL is also played in.
It's not that they were not good enough. They are some of the best the game has to offer. It's that the people who own the teams fear the Pakistani players may face dificulties getting visas or that tensions between the two countries, already rising, could make things dificult for them So why put money on them ?
But then, as former Pakistani skipper Ramiz Raja writes in The Indian Express why were the Pakistani players invited to play in India in the first place,and indeed put on the list of players to be auctioned. They had even been given cricket visas, he says , adding these men are much like their counterparts in India, heroes of the nation. And so it's not just the players who have been snubbed, a whole nation feels insulted.
"The Sports Ministry and Parliament have got the knives out, terming this selection as a snub, and as a great Indian conspiracy to insult the nation and belittle the status of its cricketers," Raja writes.
One of the players ,Shahid Afridi, who is widely seen as a game-changer the day he gets going, said he felt snubbed. "The IPL and India have made fun of us and our country," he is quoted as saying in this Times report.