PCB rejects move to pick ICL players in squad

March 18th, 2009 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, March 18 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has turned down the team management’s request to include few players associated with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) in the squad for next month’s one-day series against Australia.
According to sources, the national selectors and Pakistan team officials had approached senior PCB officials to inquire about the possibility of Indian Cricket League (ICL) players featuring in the series against Australia to be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in April-May.

Pakistan had banned its ICL rebels from all form of cricket but the players were given a reprieve by a local court that lifted the ban from playing in the domestic cricket.

Now some of the players especially Mohammad Yousuf, the country’s premier batsman, are pushing for their inclusion in the Pakistan team.

Some PCB officials have a soft corner for them but are against the idea of bringing them back in the national team because of fears of a backlash from the international cricketing community especially the powerful Indian cricket board.

ICL associated players like Yousuf, all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, pacers Mohammad Sami, Rana Naved-ul-Hassan and openers Imran Nazir and Imran Farhat believe they are still good enough to play for Pakistan.

Pakistan is supposed to play five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 game against Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from April 22.

The series will be its only opportunity to warm up for the World Twenty20 championship to be played in England from June 5-21 after the cancellation of the one-day tour of Bangladesh because of security fears.

The national selectors are planning to retain the same squad selected for the Bangladesh tour for the series against Australia but may make a few changes in it following a practice one-dayer between Pakistan XI and Pakistan A to be played early next month.

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