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Rediff.com  » Sports » Dump ICL and come back, PCB lures Yousuf

Dump ICL and come back, PCB lures Yousuf

February 09, 2009 10:40 IST

Senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf will be immediately selected in the national team if he snaps his ties with the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League, the Pakistan Cricket Board said.

PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt said he regarded Yousuf among the greats and would ensure his selection in the national team if the batsman severed his ties with ICL.

"I rank him alongside great players like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Hanif Mohammad. If he decides to end his association with the ICL I will see he is selected again for Pakistan the next day," Butt said in Islamabad.

Yousuf joined the ICL last year, claiming he was forced to do so due to the shabby treatment meted out to him by former captain Shoaib Malik and the board.

Since then Malik has been replaced by Younis Khan as captain and the board has also seen changed at the top.

The PCB has banned all the ICL-contracted players from playing domestic or international cricket in Pakistan. But the Sindh High Court last week suspended the domestic ban on a challenge made by the players against the ban in the court.

Butt said the board would have to follow the proper procedure before allowing the players to play domestic cricket for their departments.

"We respect the court's decision but we have to follow a procedure before the players are cleared to play domestic cricket," he said.

The ICL players could not appear in the latest round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy despite the court order and their departments are asking the board to clarify its position and give clearance to play them.

Butt said he had nothing personal against Yousuf or other ICL players but the PCB was bound by regulations of the ICC and its member boards.

"I am willing to play Yousuf or any other player who breaks away from the ICL. But one has to understand that the ICL is not a legal and recognised tournament in its home base, which is India," Butt stated.

He said there was no doubt that Pakistan needed Yousuf but unless he returned to the normal ranks there was nothing the board could do until the court gave a final decision.

The next date of hearing is February 10 when the PCB will also present its arguments.

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