IPL will suffer due to absence of Pak players: Younus Khan

April 15th, 2009 - 4:36 pm ICT by ANI  

Shoaib Akhtar Lahore, Apr 15 (ANI): Pakistan captain Younus Khan has said that the Indian Premier League will suffer due to the absence of players from his country.

The Pakistan Government banned its players from participating in the IPL after political relations with India deteriorated in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, which New Delhi blamed on militants based across the border.

By the time the IPL was relocated to South Africa, following the Indian Government’s refusal to provide adequate security, as the event overlapped with parliamentary elections, Pakistani players’ contracts had already been either terminated or suspended.

The IPL refused to include Pakistan players even after the relocation, claiming new stars had been bought by franchises as replacements, The News reported.

“Pakistani players are hugely popular in India, so even after the shift, the fans will miss them,” said Younus.

All-rounder Sohail Tanveer played a leading role in Rajasthan Royals’ title triumph, taking 22 wickets to finish as player of the tournament.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who despite playing only four games for Kolkata Knight Riders, was a huge attraction, still hopes for a return.

“Without Pakistani players the event has lost its charm. I still hope if the franchises want us we would be included,” said Akhtar.

Pakistan’s two world-class umpires, Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf, were also left out in the cold. (ANI)

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