Australia may boycott one-day series if Pakistan play Yousuf

February 4th, 2009 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 4 (IANS) The one-day series between Pakistan and Australia could run into trouble if Pakistan insist on playing the rebel Indian Cricket League’s Mohammad Yousuf.Pakistan’s sports ministry cleared the way for the banned players to return to domestic cricket Monday, but the government is also keen for the likes of Yousuf to once again play for the national side despite being blacklisted by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Cricket Australia (CA) does not support the ICL and could boycott the one-day series should players from the outcast Twenty20 tournament be selected for Pakistan, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

All ICL players are banned from international cricket because the tournament is a direct competitor to the Indian cricket board’s lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), which features many current Australian and foreign stars.

Pakistan’s Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani said: “We would like them to come back to the Pakistan team, everybody should get the chance to play for Pakistan. It is ultimately for the Pakistan Cricket Board to decide.”

Australia has not toured Pakistan since 1998. They were supposed to play three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 game in Pakistan last year but scrapped the tour because of security fears.

CA, however, has agreed to play the series if it is held at some offshore venue.

PCB officials have started making preparations for the series to be staged in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in April.

The series is likely to include five one-dayers and two Twenty20 internationals. PCB Chairman Izaz Butt was confident that the series will be held in a successful manner.

“I think the series will be going ahead. There is no hope of the series being played in Pakistan. But we are discussing dates and venues, which I will let the media know when I return home on Friday,” the PCB chief said..

Pakistan and Australia met in a bilateral series in 2002 in Colombo and Sharjah because of uncertain situation in the wake of the 9/11 terror strikes in the US.

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