Pakistan players should have been chosen: Shah Rukh

KKR team owner Shah Rukh Khan said it was humiliating to see none of the Pakistan players being picked up after their names were put up in the IPL auction.

updated: January 25, 2010 17:50 IST
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New Delhi:

Unlike other team owners, Shah Rukh Khan, the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, said the Pakistani players should have been chosen in the IPL auction.

Speaking on NDTV's India Questions, SRK said it was humiliating to see none of the players being picked up after their names were put up for the auction.

"I think its actually humiliating to me as a KKR owner that this has happened. We are known to be good, we are known to invite everyone, and we should have. And if there were any issues, they should have been put out earlier so that everything could happen respectfully," he said.

"I truly believe that they should have been chosen. As a matter of fact, I'm not going to be the one who is opposite from what everyone else is saying but I wanted Abdul Razzaq. I think it was in the newspapers much earlier than even the auction started. Dada (Sourav Ganguly) was very keen," he added.

And while he said Pakistan players should have been picked, SRK also gave a perspective of a team owner.

"There is going to be a section of people who have suddenly gotten up and have said, rightly or wrongly, ' Australians will not be allowed to play'. So here is a set of people who are spending up to 70, 80, 90 crore rupees on trying to win a tournament and suddenly, even if you say this much to me, I'm like 'uh-oh, so should I take or shouldn't I take him?'"

"So tomorrow, if we had known this, maybe even the Australians would not have been picked up. These issues always come prime on your head, the stakes are very high," he said.

"I am not giving an excuse and I truly believe Pakistani players are the best T20 players in the world. They are the champions. They are wonderful. But somewhere down the line there is an issue and we cannot deny it. There is an issue, we cannot keep saying 'Oh this was wrong'. Yes maybe the way it was done was wrong, the way it is being carried out may be wrong. But you can't keep on saying 'Koi issue nahi hai yaar, woh aa jate' (There isn't any issue, they could have come). There is an issue lets not deny it. Every day we blame Pakistan, everyday they blame us, it is an issue," he added.

The Bollywood star also said he also had to face the other side of this entire controversy (because of his religion).

"I have also had the opposite of this. When my team had 5 Pakistani players in the first year, there were people saying 'Aap ke pass bahut sare Pakistani players hain' (You have too many Pak players). I still have Wasim Bhai coaching my team. Come on man, sports should be left alone."

"I think before we react to any of these incidents, we should hold back and say 'yeah there is an issue, both sides have a point, so lets keep it easy'. I, my family is from Pakistan. My father was born there and his family was from there. Can we just circumvent all that is said about India and Pakistan by the politicians, by anybody else and say 'it's a great neighbour to have, we're great neighbours, they're great neigbours, so lets just love each other'. I think all these issues really need to be out," SRK said.