Rana in county trouble over ICL

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Lahore, Feb 28 (UNI) Pakistan fast bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who signed up for the Indian Cricket League (ICL), faces the prospect of forfeiting his Yorkshire contract unless he withdraws from the unsanctioned tournament.

''We have given Rana an ultimatum which is basically: are you going to take part in the unofficial Indian Cricket League or are you going to play for Yorkshire?'' Yorkshire's Chief Executive Stewart Regan said. ''If Rana takes part in the ICL, he will automatically forfeit his Yorkshire contract.'' ''The situation is very much up in the air, but the optimist in me believes Rana will see the value in playing for Yorkshire.

If not, it means we will be forced to look elsewhere for an overseas player,'' he added.

Regan said the county chief executives' meeting has taken a tough stand against the rebel ICL and the players associated with it.

''There is a definite groundswell of opinion that ICL players should not be allowed to play in our competitions and that revenue streams coming into cricket through legitimate sources should not be threatened,'' he said.

''In Rana's case, not only does he face being banned from playing domestic cricket in Pakistan, he would not be given the necessary No Objection Certificate to be registered for cricket in this country, because when you want to sign an overseas player you need the authenticity from his home country. He certainly has a lot to consider.'' However, Regan was apprehensive of the legal and financial implications which will arise if Rana decides to terminate his ICL contract.

''If Rana has to buy himself out of his contract, that could be a problem, but he is due to meet Pakistan officials today and I'm expecting the matter to be resolved within 24 hours.'' UNI XC AB RAR BST1703

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