The giggle had vanished. There was tension in the air as Shilpa Shetty broke her silence over the controversy surrounding her team’s decision not to buy any Pakistani player at the Indian Premier League (IPL) III auction.
“It’s my right. I don’t owe (anyone) a clarification,” said the agitated co-owner of Rajasthan Royals. On Friday, the actor said the franchisees were only playing it safe.
“It was not a contrived decision to not bid for the Pakistanis. A security threat is constantly looming on us because of some political parties and looney groups. Why should it (players’ safety) be on us?” asked Shilpa.
“We missed out on some of the greatest players. But we selected players according to our needs and, most importantly, those who would be available throughout the tournament.”
The alleged snub has frayed tempers across the border with several cricketers demanding an apology from the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the IPL.
“Why should I apologise? Do I have to do that to players from Australia, England and other countries who were not bought despite them being among the 66 players at the auction?” asked IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. “There has been no conspiracy.”
Shilpa and Modi failed to understand the brouhaha over the issue. “People must understand our decision and treat it maturely in India and Pakistan,” she said.