3 Feb 2009

Pakistani cricketers not allowed to go to IPL

6:20 am on 3 February 2009

Pakistan's leading cricketers will not be allowed to travel to play in the Indian Premier League because of the government's concerns over security.

The Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer, Saleem Altaf, says the foreign ministry had written to the board advising it not to send Pakistani players to India for any IPL event.

Around a dozen Pakistani cricketers are signed up with different franchises in the IPL while five others, including leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, are entered in a players auction to be held in Goa on Thursday.

Altaf says they had sought clearance from the sport ministry for allowing cricketers to travel to India because of the tense relations between Pakistan and India after the Mumbai militant attacks in November.

Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, who plays for Delhi, says the players will abide by the directives of the government and board.

Pakistani players were a major draw in the first IPL tournament with all-rounder Sohail Tanvir guiding his Rajasthan Royals to the title and winning the best bowler award.

The Indian government had stopped its team from undertaking a test tour of Pakistan in January after the Mumbai attacks.

Later the Pakistani sports ministry refused to give permission to the national hockey and squash teams to travel to India for international events.