Jan 25 - 31, 2010

In one brief evening called the IPL auction of players, the real colours came through. Forgetting that this was a gentlemanly sports, where people and players even adhered to unwritten rules, and rarely voiced their opinions/disagreement on the field of play, the IPL bosses and those pulling the strings, relished with glee as the auction ended without a single Pakistani player (there were seven on offer) being acquired by the tycoons and rich Bollywood actors, the owners of the League teams.

Not only they missed the players of superb talent, it would have also been seen as a good omen of Indians and Pakistanis playing together, that could have had some magical effect of easing the tense relations between the two nations.

Instead they allowed the destruction of diplomacy between the sparring Nations firmly in place.

'Cricket Diplomacy' has been consigned to dust.

Were the Pakistani players really below par to the West Indians, and others that were on the block ?? Take the scene to the recently concluded first ODI between host nation Australia and Pakistan ...Enter 'Boom Boom Afridi on the field and in one 24 minutes of 'nightmare' for the opposing team, re raked in 48 runs in a matter of 24 minutes. And with his bowling skills, it was more than a bit of surprise that there were no takers for him, after being billed as 'the most exciting player to come on auction for the league' by all and sundry.

Whilst the host of Indians, politicians and the like minded anti-Pakistan Indians, determined to 'embarass' Pakistan, relished with glee, Pakistan's 'sparring-politicians', sportsmen and the whole cricket loving country stood together for a change at the 'insult' . Parliamentary delegations to India were cancelled as were some planned sports events.. Further actions will no doubt follow.

Why did the Enterpreneur Lalith Modi act in this manner?? What were the pressures on him and the tycoons and Bollywood Actors. There are lot of speculations and for the time being we will not dwelve in them, other than to say that in Cricketing Terms, it was the worst case equivalent to 'match-fixing and 'ball-tampering' which almost drove Cricket into the Grounds some years ago.. There is no doubt it will drive IPL to the ground if the vested interest, no matter who they, are allowed to have their way..