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Decision by PCB, govt on IPL is final: Malik

Decision by PCB, govt on IPL is final: Malik

Pak players were earlier insisting to play in next year's IPL.

  • Updated: December 26, 2008, 2:44 PM IST

Karachi: Facing severe criticism from cricketing fraternity for insisting to play in next year's Indian Premier League after India cancelled its tour, Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik said he and fellow players would abide by the government's decision on the matter.

Recently, Malik had told the media here during the Pentangular tournament that he and other Pakistani cricketers were keen to play in the IPL's second season as they had signed three year contracts.

However, in an interview to "Express" channel, Malik changed his stance after getting a rap from the Pakistan Cricket Board and many in the cricketing circles questioned his statement after India showed little interest to continue cricketing ties with Pakistan following the Mumbai terror attacks.

"I was misunderstood. Look it is obvious that in the present tense relations between the two countries, I or other players are not unduly enthusiastic about playing in the IPL. Whatever decision is taken by the PCB and the government we will strictly abide by that," he said.

Malik said he had only tried to emphasise that cricketing ties should continue as this was one way of reducing tensions between the two neighbouring countries.

"I never meant to say that whatever the situation I was keen to play in the IPL," he added.

The Pakistan captain insisted that nothing was more important to him than the honour and self respect of the nation.

"Whatever I am today it is because of Pakistan. All the wealth, fame and success I have got is because of Pakistan. I cannot even think of doing something which is against the interests or policies of our nation," he said. Malik and a dozen other Pakistani players were signed up to play for different franchise teams in the IPL whose second season is due to begin in April.

Malik whose captaincy tenure ends on December 31, however, hoped cricketing ties would resume soon between India and Pakistan.

The PCB has said it had taken no policy decision on whether to permit its players to go and play in the IPL or the rebel Indian Cricket League.

"When the time comes we will see but obviously our decision would be based after taking advice from the Sports Ministry and foreign office," Saleem Altaf, chief operating officer of PCB said.

Sources have said that due to escalating tensions between the two countries, even the IPL authorities want Pakistani players to sign consent forms, making it legally possible to release them from their current teams in the transfer window auction process.

"Even the IPL organisers know in existing circumstances it would not be possible for Pakistani players to play in India," one source said.

Pakistan's Federal Sports Secretary, Ashraf Khan said the ministry would soon announce a policy on sporting ties with India.

"We are consulting the concerned authorities but it is obvious that they are serious security threats to our sportsmen at this point of time if they go and play in India," Khan said.

Team Rankings

1 India 2914 121
2 New Zealand 2166 120
3 England 3493 109
4 Australia 1844 108
5 Pakistan 2247 94
FULL Ranking
1 New Zealand 2054 121
2 Australia 2945 118
3 India 3344 115
4 England 3100 115
5 South Africa 2137 107
FULL Ranking
1 England 6088 277
2 India 6811 272
3 New Zealand 6048 263
4 Pakistan 7818 261
5 Australia 5930 258
FULL Ranking