LAHORE – The inclusion of Pakistan players in the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) in doldrums despite promise of BCCI that it will include Pakistan players in IPL, it has been learnt.

It has also been learnt that now the Indian board has remained cautious over inviting Pakistani players for the lucrative league. Informed sources have stated that BCCI has asked all franchises not to consider Pakistan players for the upcoming auctions scheduled to be started January 12-20 in Kolkata or Chennai.

The Indian board fears that any new controversy arising from the inclusion of Pakistani players in the league will completely tarnish the image of the league.

Earlier, in the last general council meeting of the Indian board, the matter was deferred till the next meeting to be held in first week of January 2013 while the auction of players will start from January 12 to 20 either in Kolkata or Chennai.

Sources have stated that they are wary of several factors including spot-fixing controversy, the misbehaviour on the part of some Pakistan players and issue of providing extra security and dealing with threats of disruption from various political and social organisations.

A source has confirmed on the condition of anonymity that BCCI is averse to let Pakistan players participate in the tournament.

"We are trying to discourage franchises against picking Pakistani players during upcoming auction. And there are obvious reasons for it," the source said. Pakistan players had participated in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008 but have missed out since the Mumbai attacks later that year.

The franchises also seem to be less perturbed with the decision of the BCCI. "There aren't too many big players to pick anyways, and most of us have very limited slots. Maybe if those players were available, Saeed Ajmal would have been a major draw or Abdul Razzaq or Umar Akmal," a franchisee owner said.

"But IPL was running well even without Pakistan players, and if the BCCI thinks its fine, we are fine with it." The sixth edition of the IPL will start on April 3, 2013.

–HAROON SIDDIQUI