PCB confirms ICL rebels' ban from national and domestic matches

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Lahore, Dec 27 (UNI) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made it clear that the rebel Indian Cricket League's (ICL) contracted Pakistani players will no more be part of their ongoing and future domestic cricket matches as ICL is not a recognised body by any board.

Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed, Taufiq Umar, Imran Farhat and Azhar Mahmood were part of the ICL's recently concluded Twenty20 tournament in India.

ICL's contracted players will not be part of the ongoing Quaid-i-Azam Trophy and will not be allowed to represent their parent departments in any PCB-recognised tournament as PCB had included an additional clause in the playing conditions, a PCB spokesman said yesterday.

PCB media director Ahsan Hameed Malik said, ''Yes, the PCB has written a letter to all the affiliated units on December 6 instructing them not to allow (to play) any such players, who are involved with any league cricket, not recognised by the board.'' He said the decision would also be referred to the Governing Board for approval in its next meeting scheduled to be held on January 19 next.

Though some of these players did play in the ongoing Quaid-i-Azam Trophy but will have to discontinue their representation from their domestic states in the final stages of the tournament.

Ahsan added by saying, ''We can only take action when the players have played for any banned league.

''There were reports about these players' signing with the ICL, but PCB has to wait till their appearing in the Indian competition.'' Just when PCB thought that it had done enough to threaten the players from going against it by banning ICL's contracted players from Pakistan, reports have revealed that six more players are considering their future with ICL.

Such a decision can seriously affect Pakistan's bench strength with PCB refusing to consider any such player for national duty.

The affected players are all set to take the matter to the court with Imran Farhat almost prepared with his lawyer to get a stay-order on PCB's ban.

''It is not the prerogative of the PCB to stop us from playing cricket for our parent department. Yes our department can take the case, since it pays us for representing them in the domestic cricket,'' Farhat said.

He also mentioned that PCB's extreme step is just to please their neighbouring country's board (BCCI). ''The PCB is only punishing the players to please its Indian counterpart, otherwise there is nothing wrong in the entire matter.'' His other team mates, Taufiq Umar and Shabbir Ahmed are also likely to move the court regarding PCB's alleged injustice to them.

UNI

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