Pakistan players back from the cold with seven on Indian Premier League shortlist
SEVEN Pakistan players have made the cut for the next Indian Premier League auction after the lifting of their competition ban, while fresh English talent is conspicuously absent from the 51-man shortlist.
Pakistan players were banned from the last IPL because of the political fallout from the Mumbai terrorist attacks, but have been allowed back in for the third edition of the lucrative Twenty20 league, to be played from March 12 to April 25.
Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain, Shahid Afridi, batting sensation Umar Akmal and fast-improving paceman Mohammad Aamir are among the shortlisted Pakistan players named, along with spinner Saeed Aj mal , hard-hitting opening batsman Imran Nazir and all-rounders Rana Naved and Abdul Razzaq.
While Pakistan players missed out last season, Eng- land players look like being absent from the forthcoming campaign.
None was on the shortlist for the January 19 auction, with IPL commissioner Lalit Modi saying their absence was due to “new conditions imposed by the ECB”.
The shortlist released on Thursday was said to be final, meaning even late negotiations between the English and Indian cricket boards – thought to centre on the unwillingness of the ECB to have its players absent from the early part of its domestic season – would go nowhere.
The auction, in which franchises bid for players based on annual salaries, will add new players to the existing international mix of those on existing multi-year contracts.
Australia attracted the most players in the new shortlist with 11. It is followed by South Africa (9), Sri Lanka (8), West Indies (8), Pakistan (7), New Zealand (4) and one each from Bangladesh, Canada, Holland and Zimbabwe.
The auction allows teams to supplement their squads, adding to players on multiyear contracts.
Shortlisted SA players include Yusuf Abdulla, Zander de Bruyn, Justin Kemp, Rory Kleinveldt, Wayne Par nell, Vernon Philander, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Johan van der Wath and Vaughn van Jaarsveld. Sapa-AP