The team owners of the India Premier League (IPL) have so far stood together on the issue of not bidding for any Pakistani players in the third edition of the event. They had come out in the media denying any foul play. But now a prominent voice among them has stood up and voiced his opposition to the issue. It is none other than the Baadshah of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders. Buzz up!In an interview to a leading news channel Shahrukh Khan said “They are the champions, they are wonderful but somewhere down the line there is an issue and we can’t deny it. We are known to invite everyone. We should have. If there were any issues, they should have been put on board earlier. Everything can happen respectfully,” It may be recalled that Shahrukh Khan who had taken active part in the bidding of the players in the first season had shown keen interest in Pakistani players. He had roped in Umar Gul and maverick Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar in the first season. Shahrukh’s statement is bound to add to the controversy especially after fellow Bollywood celebrities Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty having gone out in full support of the fairness of the bidding process.
And this from Dawn:
KARACHI: As a perceived snub to Pakistani players by the Indian Premier League sparks a spat between the neighbouring countries, superstar Shah Rukh Khan, an IPL franchisee himself, believes the world champions should have been picked, reports DawnNews. “I truly believe Pakistan players should have been chosen,” Khan, co-owner of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), said. Khan, however, said that since “some issues” were involved the matter could have been handled by the IPL “respectfully”. No Pakistani player was bought by the eight Indian clubs during an auction on Tuesday for the third edition of the glitzy IPL despite the Pakistan team being the reigning world champions in the Twenty20 format of the cricket tournament. Rooting for the Pakistani players, Khan said they are the best T20 players in the world. “They are the champions, they are wonderful but somewhere down the line there is an issue and we can’t deny it,” he told a news channel. Khan said it was humiliating to him as a KKR owner that no one bid for the Pakistani players despite them being put up for auction. “We are known to invite everyone. We should have. If there were any issues, they should have been put on board earlier. Everything can happen respectfully,” he said. “Everyday we blame Pakistan, everyday Pakistan blames us. It is an issue,” Khan, who had five players from Pakistan playing for KKR in IPL’s first edition, said. Khan felt that the youth should circumvent all that is said about India and Pakistan by the politicians and say, “Pakistan is a great neighbour to have. We are great neighbours, They are good neighbours. Let us love each other.” “Let me be honest. My family is from Pakistan, my father was born there and his family is from there,” he said.