Cricketing relations between Pakistan and India seem to be improving as a series between the archrivals, first in five years, is just around the corner. But the thaw doesn’t have much for Pakistani players as the doors of the Indian Premier League (IPL) are still closed for them.

[caption id="attachment_109" align="alignright" width="300"]Pakistani players haven’t participated in any IPL season except the first (Photo: AFP) Pakistani players haven’t participated in any IPL season except the first (Photo: AFP)[/caption]

Pakistani cricketers have been barred from taking part in the IPL since 2007. Salman Butt, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Asif were among the key Pakistani cricketers who participated in the league’s first edition.

According to a report published in The Times of India, the IPL Governing Council has released a list of 37 cricketers to be auctioned for the world’s biggest league. There isn’t a single Pakistani player in the list.

Earlier, all the franchises were expecting Pakistani cricketers to be available for the auction as the green shirts are visiting India in five years and relations between the neighbours seem to be going in the right direction.

But the newspaper’s sources said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the sole reason why Pakistani players are being distanced from the IPL as the Indian government hasn’t yet directed the board to lift the unannounced ban on Pakistani cricketers.

If the report is authentic, the stance expressed by some people would stand correct that India is only making money out of the series in the name of mending cricketing relations with Pakistan.

Players’ auction for the league will be held on 3rd February. Time will tell if the BCCI keeps on ignoring Pakistani cricketers or takes a positive action as the matter has gone public.
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