Pakistan players ruled out of IPL

MUMBAI: Pakistan's cricketers will miss the next edition of the Indian Premier League due to a delay in securing visas for the lucrative Twenty20 event in India, IPL chief Lalit Modi said on Tuesday.

"We have been informed by the Pakistan Cricket Board that they have not been able to obtain the visas as of now," Modi told local media.

"Pakistan's players are out and will not be allowed to take part in the next IPL. We are informing the teams that they can now go for replacement of Pakistan players."

The deadline for completing all formalities, including obtaining visas for the March 12-April 25 event, was Monday since the transfer window opens on Wednesday, Modi said.

Pakistani cricketers took part in the IPL's inaugural season in April-May 2008, but were denied permission by Islamabad to play in the second edition earlier this year due to growing political tensions with India.

The 2009 tournament was shifted to South Africa in April-May when the Indian government said it could not guarantee adequate security because the event clashed with general elections.

Five Pakistan cricketers -- Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Abdul Razzaq, Misbah-ul Haq and Kamran Akmal -- have existing contracts with IPL franchises.

Contracts of seven other Pakistanis, including Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar, were terminated by the respective franchises after the inaugural edition.

Pakistani players were expected to be hot property for the franchises competing in the third edition after the national team won the World Twenty20 tournament in England in June.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said last week Islamabad had granted permission to the players to take part in the IPL, but the delay in securing Indian visas created a hurdle.

The IPL features the world's top cricketers playing for eight Indian club sides owned by billionaire industrialists and movie stars.