Sports Ministry interested in calling Yousuf back

February 16th, 2009 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Feb 16 (IANS) Pakistan’s sports ministry is considering summoning Mohammad Yousuf in Islamabad in a bid to help him earn a comeback in the national team.

A couple of days after the premier Pakistani batsman urged President Asif Zardari to help him resurrect his international career, sports minister Aftab Jilani said in an interview Monday that his ministry is ready to play a role in ending the ban on Yousuf and other Pakistani cricketers associated with the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL).

At a press conference in Karachi Saturday, Yousuf appealed to Zardari to help him return to the national team.

In response, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt said that the player will be taken into the Pakistan team as soon as he terminates his contract with the ICL.

Jilani welcomed Butt’s remarks. “I was pleased to learn that the PCB chief is looking at the issue in a positive manner,” said Jilani, a member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Jilani said that he will talk to the Board top brass in a bid to convince them that the ICL issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible. The minister said if necessary, he will also take guidelines from President Zardari about the Yousuf case.

Jilani said he will ask Butt to hold talks with the country’s ICL cricketers.

Pakistan had banned 20 of its leading cricketers after they signed contracts to play in the rebel ICL.

Earlier this month, the Sindh High Court (SHC) suspended the domestic ban on the ICL players but they still cannot represent Pakistan at the international level because the PCB claims that the International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations bars it from considering ICL players for national duty.

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