Karachi, Dec 23: Former Pakistan cricket captain Wasim Akram has expressed his disappointment over the likely omission of Pakistan players from the auction list for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) bonanza.
"From what we are hearing, Pakistani players will again not be in the IPL, and this is so disappointing because frankly speaking, I personally feel without our players the IPL loses much of its charm and competitive edge," the Daily Times quoted Akram, as telling reporters.
He pointed out that if top Pakistan players like Shahid Afridi or Abdul Razzaq were not allowed to take part in the IPL, it would affect the reputation of the mega event.
Earlier, an IPL official had revealed that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had not forwarded any names for the January auction, saying: "The rules stipulate that a player must apply through his home board if he wanted to be put up for the auction. No names were received from Pakistan."
Akram blamed the PCB for not doing enough to ensure the participation of Pakistani players in the fourth edition of the tournament, which is scheduled to run from April 8 to May 22 next year.
"Even if the Indian board had not shown keenness, I think our board should have taken the initiative and shown interest in sending our players to the IPL and also sending their names to the Indians. An effort to remove any misunderstandings should have been taken by our board," he said.
The bowling great also said that the IPL was unique in itself, and that every country should have its representation in the event.
It is noteworthy that no Pakistani player was included in the last edition of IPL as well. Pakistani cricketers had taken part in the inaugural IPL in 2008, but were forced out of the 2009 edition due to security concerns in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, and were then ignored for the 2010 tournament.
Talking about Pakistan cricket, Akram said that the selectors had taken a correct decision in laying emphasis on players' fitness, and called for more clarity in the nation's cricket affairs.
"Right now there is no clarity at all in everything and nobody knows what is happening, what is white and what is black, and obviously this is affecting the players, and they are also confused as to which directions things will go," he said.
"It is time to clear this confusion and be clear about things. If steps are not taken to bring more clarity in Pakistan cricket then I fear our cricket will only go further downhill," he added.