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Pakistan’s IPL exclusion is India’s loss

LAHORE - Former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal has said the reason behind the rise of the Indian Premier League is massive commercial gains. As for the exclusion of all Pakistani players from the IPL, Iqbal said that the loss was that of the Indian audience as well as the franchises. The Pakistan cricketers have not played in the tournament since its first edition in early 2008. "I think the exclusion of Pakistani cricketers have nothing to do with cricket.

I am absolutely sure that many Indians and franchises would like to have these brilliant cricketers - such as Afridi, Razzaq, Gul and Akmals," PakPassion quoted Iqbal as saying. Last week, butter-fingered wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal was dropped from Pakistan's squad for the limited-overs series against the West Indies following a spate of poor outings in the recently concluded World Cup. Asif was clear about the reasons of Kamran's exclusion. "Technically Kamran has faults and the management was playing him due to his batting," he added.

The former skipper also agreed with the exclusion of Younis Khan from the squad for the Caribbean tour due to his abysmal performance in the recently concluded World Cup, and expressed his happiness at the manner in which the decision was implemented.

"Instead of saying that they have been dropped or dumped, the selectors and the board are saying that they have been rested, which is a nice thing and should be appreciated," Asif said.

Talking about the need of a batting coach for the Pakistan team, Asif was clear that coaching was not a skill to be taken lightly as it was a "specialised position".

He opined that whilst Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Director General Javed Miandad was a "great motivator," he was less convincing as a coach. "To have him around will obviously be of great help to the Pakistani batsmen. But to have him as a coach - well I am not too sure," Asif said. Meanwhile, Miandad, who was approached by captain Shahid Afridi and PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt to take up the batting coach assignment, turned down the offer citing personal reasons.