LAHORE – The final decision on the participation of Pakistani players in Indian Premier League’s sixth edition will be taken by governing council at its next meeting to be held before the auction of players in January 2013, it has been learnt. Earlier, the President of Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI)  N Srinivasan had hinted that 6th edition may also feature players from Pakistan, which has now become very possible after the arch-rivals have agreed to resume bilateral cricketing relations, with Pakistan touring India in late December.

The players’ auction for the sixth edition of the lucrative Indian Premier League will be held in January next year, either in Chennai or Kolkata. The governing council of IPL headed by Rajeev Shukla met in Mumbai recently to discuss a number of pending issues including IPL-VI players’ auction, inclusion of Pakistani players in the league. It was decided in the meeting that the auction would take place either in Chennai or Kolkata on January 12 to 20, 2013.

The nine IPL franchises last month released 107 local and international players while retained 179 players – 120 Indian and 59 international – ahead of the IPL trading window, which was October 31. The 179 players retained by franchises will remain with their respective teams on the same financial terms.

The franchises can also buy a maximum of 11 foreign players from various domestic as well as international teams. Pakistan players have been overlooked for auction after first season in the aftermath of Mumbai attacks in 2008.

The sixth edition of high-profile Twenty20 competition would get underway in Kolkata on April 3 and will run until May 26, 2013. Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders will be defending their title in the next edition.

The committee also failed to reach at consensus on whether to bring former Indian skipper M Azharuddin back in the IPL fold after Andhra Pradesh High Court had lifted life-time ban imposed on him by Indian cricket board.

“The decision on Azharuddin’s future in BCCI has been deferred. The working committee was undecided on whether to appeal against the decision or not,” the sources stated.