PCB seeks ICC support to clear ICL rebels

March 30th, 2009 - 5:40 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid
Karachi, March 30 (IANS) Pakistan seems set to clear its Indian Cricket League (ICL) rebels next month and may even include some of them in its squad for the World Twenty20 Championship to be played in England this summer.

Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman said Monday that he is in favour of bringing back the country’s ICL players but is waiting for an official word from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Butt said he has talked to ICC president David Morgan and its chief executive Haroon Lorgat about the issue and is now expecting some concrete progress following an ICC Executive Board meeting April 16.

“I have discussed the idea of removing a ban on our ICL cricketers with top ICC officials and hopefully there will be some good news soon,” he said.

Sources said that the selectors have requested the PCB to get a 15-day extension from ICC in naming the provisional squad for the World Twenty20 Championship so that if the ICL players are cleared then some of them could be inducted in the national squad.

Around 20 cricketers from Pakistan switched allegiance to the unofficial ICL in 2007 and 2008 and were subsequently banned by the PCB from “all cricket”.

However, last month the Sindh High Court suspended the ban on the cricketers that prevented them from playing domestic cricket.

Now, some of the ICL cricketers are pushing for their return in the national team. Mohammad Yousuf, Pakistan’s premier batsman, has already indicated that he is ready to break off ties with the ICL to resume his international career.

All-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who was one of the ICL biggest stars, said that the league has already released him and other Pakistan cricketers are also available for national duty.

The recent developments have also forced the national selectors to consider players like Razzaq and Yousuf for the Twenty20 World Championship to be played in England from June 5-21.

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