PCB clears Rana to play in England

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Lahore, Mar 26 (UNI) Despite his links with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), Pace bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has received clearance from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to play in England.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said anyone taking part in an unofficial competition will be banned from county cricket after the major Test-playing nations agreed not to issue No Objection Certificates to ICL players that would enable them to perform in England.

But, the PCB have broken ranks by issuing an NOC to Rana Naved and also to Sussex leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, which means the ECB could be forced to rethink their stance.

Yorkshire's chief executive Stewart Regan said the club expected an ECB decision within days. ''We have submitted an application to the ECB for Rana to be registered and are waiting to hear back from them,'' he said.

''The ECB previously told us Rana wouldn't be granted an NOC and, on that basis, couldn't be registered.

''We gave Rana an ultimatum that if he took part in the ICL he would be banned from county cricket, but now the Pakistan cricket authorities have back-tracked and Rana has faxed us his NOC.

''We've submitted a registration to see whether the ECB are prepared to support it. What we're not going to do is put ourselves in a position where we could be challenged legally for breach of contract because Rana signed a contract with us in good faith,'' he added.

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