Pakistan players will not be involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2010 because of a delay in obtaining visas. The five players - Umar Gul and Abdul Razzaq (Kolkata Knight Riders), Sohail Tanvir and Kamran Akmal (Rajasthan Royals) and Misbah-ul Haq (Bangalore Royal Challengers) - all have contracts in place with IPL teams.
IPL chairman Lalit Modi, who had last month extended the deadline to December 7 for Pakistan's players to get clearances in order, said the league could not permit more extensions ahead of the third season. "We have been informed by the PCB that they have not been able to obtain the visas as of now," Modi said. "December 7 was the absolute deadline for confirmation of Pakistan players. "We will not extend the deadline because we are handicapped because of the exchange window.
"Unfortunately, Pakistan's players are out and will not be allowed to take part in the next IPL. "We are informing the teams that they can now go for replacement of Pakistan players." This is the second season in a row that Pakistan players will not be featuring in the IPL. The Pakistan government had barred them from travelling to India earlier this year and they stayed at home even after the Twenty20 tournament was moved to South Africa.
The Pakistan Cricket Board were keen on their players participating in the IPL when they returned to India next year and, although the government have this time cleared the team to participate, the players have not yet been granted visas. Agreements for seven others, including former captain Younus Khan and fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, were ended prior to the second season of the league this year after the Pakistan government refused to sanction permission for players to participate because of security concerns arising from the terrorist attack in Mumbai.
Razzaq, who had missed the inaugural season of the IPL because of links with the unauthorised Indian Cricket League, was signed up by the Kolkata Knight Riders. Meanwhile, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has indicated that former captain Younus is unlikely to feature on the forthcoming tour of Australia. Younus stood down as captain after last month's one-day international series defeat to New Zealand and announced he would be taking a break from the game.
He was expected to soon return to domestic action with Habib Bank but has not been seen since and those close to him were recently forced to deny reports of a foot injury. Butt said: "Younus should have played domestic matches to be a candidate for selection for the tour. However, a final decision in this regard will be taken after a meeting with the chief selector Iqbal Qasim." Mohammed Yousuf, leading Pakistan in the on-going Test series against New Zealand, has been retained as captain for the Test and one-day international series Down Under.
Pakistan are hoping to face India in a limited-overs series in a bid to claw back their financial deficits. "We lost some US$40 million [Dh147m] due to the cancellation of the India series last year and this huge loss can only be covered if we play India, even on neutral venues," said Butt. * With agencies