Pakistan sports minister meets ICL rebel Yousuf

February 18th, 2009 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Feb 18 (IANS) Pakistan’s sports minister Aftab Shah Jilani Wednesday met the country’s premier batsman Mohammad Yousuf in a bid to find a way for the cricketer’s return in the national team.
However, the minister was unable to give any deadline over Yousuf’s inclusion in the Pakistan team, saying that the matter was complicated.

Yousuf, 34, remains out of the Pakistan team because of his association with the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL).

He was banned from all forms of cricket by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) along with 20 other Pakistani cricketers because of ICL links.

However, earlier this month, the Sindh High Court suspended the domestic ban on the cricketers that prevented them from taking part in local events.

Jilani had in a previous interview said that he would like Pakistan to recall players like Yousuf but the PCB has made it clear that the International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations regarding unauthorized cricket leagues prevents it from doing so.

Yousuf had last week appealed to President Asif Zardari, who is also the chief patron of PCB, to help him return to international cricket.

After his meeting with Yousuf, Jilani said that the player expressed his desire to have a meeting with President Zardari.

Jilani said that no breakthrough was achieved in his meeting with Yousuf Wednesday. In the meeting, Yousuf expressed his gratitude to the government for hearing his point of view over his ouster from the national team.

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