PCB clears Yousuf, Razzaq for national duty

May 29th, 2009 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, May 29 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Friday cleared its former Indian Cricket League (ICL) players Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq for national duty.
The PCB said that since both players had quit the ICL, they were cleared to play for Pakistan.

“Their (Yousuf and Razzaq) resignations have been accepted by the ICL and they will now be available for Pakistan team selection,” a PCB statement said.

Yousuf, who has played 79 tests and 269 one-day internationals, was rated as Pakistan’s premier batsman before he joined the ICL last year and was consequently banned by the PCB. He is now all set to be selected in the Pakistan team for this summer’s tour of Sri Lanka scheduled to get underway from June 27.

A total of 19 Pakistani players joined the ICL, which was launched in 2007. Razzaq, a seasoned all-rounder, said he is hoping for a recall soon.

“There is nothing bigger than playing for your country,” Razzaq, who has played in 46 tests and 239 one-dayers, told IANS. “I will anxiously wait for a call from the selectors.”

Yousuf, too, is relieved by the PCB’s decision. “It’s a big relief to hear this from the board because I am very keen to play for Pakistan again,” he said.

“I just hope that the rest of the ICL players who also want to play for Pakistan again are given the same consideration by the board.”

“I think when we left to join the ICL, the situation was different. We were treated well by them. But now I want to play for my country and return to international action,” Yousuf added.

Pakistan had set a May 31 as a deadline for all cricketers who had contracts with the ICL to sever their ties with the league and make themselves available for national selection again.

Several other cricketers like pacers Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Mohammad Sami and opener Imran Nazir are also harboring hopes of reviving their international careers. It is expected that the PCB will take similar decisions in their cases.

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