Modi, Afridi signal easing of IPL-Pak row

NEW DELHI/KARACHI: In a clear shift towards a spirit of accommodation, Indian Premier League

commissioner Lalit Modi said on Tuesday that a "window of possibility" was still open for Pakistani cricketers to play in IPL-3 and in the Champions League later this year.

Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi too seemed ready to "forgive and forget", and said he was willing to play in India if picked by an IPL team.

Modi's remarks came a day after home minister P Chidambaram criticized IPL organizers for doing a "disservice to cricket" by ignoring Pakistani players during the auction.

"Some teams have still not finished their quota of players and some players could drop out. Franchises can choose Pakistani players as replacements or to fill vacancies," Modi told a TV channel.

Modi insisted the issue was not mishandled, the government had "no say" in the auction and it was the franchisees' decision to not pick Pakistan players.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, which is still smarting over the snub to its players at the auction, Afridi came up with a statesman-like comment.

"When you think about it, Pakistan and India have much more in common than there are differences. We need to build our relations rather than break them. Sport should be used to build peace between our great nations, not break them... Although Pakistan and India have borders, these borders cannot divide humanity," said the former Deccan Chargers player. 

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