Pakistan include ICL masseur in national cricket team

April 13th, 2009 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, April 13 (IANS) After being forced to remove three rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) players in the 30-man World Twenty20 Championship preliminary squad, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has taken another dubious step by including a masseur previously associated with the unofficial league in the national team.
The PCB has included Abdur Rauf, who was employed by the breakaway ICL in an extended 34-man Pakistan squad that flew out of Lahore for Dubai Monday morning for the one-day series against Australia.

Rauf was working as masseur for Lahore Badshahs in the ICL. It is a surprising decision because the PCB was forced to axe three ICL rebels — Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Imran Nazir — from the provisional Twenty20 squad just a day after picking them for the biennial spectacle to be played in England this June apparently after facing pressure from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Rauf is one of the eight officials, who are travelling with the Pakistan team for the April 22 - May 7 series against Australia to be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Apart from a 15-man squad, Pakistan have also sent an 11-man Reserve XI to Dubai which will play a match against Pakistan April 15.

Meanwhile, a PCB spokesman on Monday defended the decision of including Rauf in the national squad.

He said that Rauf’s appointment has been made after the termination of the agreement with the ICL and the approval from the ICC.

According to the spokesman, Rauf had signed an agreement with the ICL for a period of one year which has expired. He had also submitted an NOC to the PCB in this regard and later the board, after bringing it to the notice of the ICC, has hired him as a member of the Pakistan team’s support staff.

The spokesman said that the ICC law regarding the ban on players and officials attached with the unapproved cricket leagues would be enforced from June 1.

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