Yousuf joins rebel ICL, IPL threatens legal action

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Lahore, Nov 3 (UNI) In a move that might put his international career in jeopardy, Mohammad Yousuf has once again signed up for the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) even as the veteran batsman was named in a 15-man squad to take on the West Indies in three ODIs later this month in Abu Dhabi.

The batsman has already left for New Delhi and will join the ongoing season of the ICL although it is still not known that which team wil he play for.

''We tried to contact him but his wife told us that he has gone to India to play cricket,'' Pakistan Cricket Board's director of cricket operations Zakir Khan told a media conference here today when asked to confirm the reports.

''We want to get in touch with him, as we have not been told anything, to see what the facts of the situation are before we take any further steps,'' he added.

Zakir said Yousuf would be banned from all official cricket in Pakistan if he played in the Twenty20 competition.

Yousuf had initially signed up with the league in September 2007, in protest at being axed from Pakistan's squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

The PCB then lured him to come out of the ICL contract and said the board will help him in his legal battle against the unauthorised League and promised him a place in one of the teams in IPL.

But the ICL took the matter to an arbitration court in Mumbai, arguing that as Yousuf had signed up with them, he was ineligible to play for any other league.

A stay order was passed against Yousuf's participation in the IPL, though an appeal was later filed by the PCB on Yousuf's behalf in the Bombay High Court. The matter is till pending.

Meanwhile, the IPL is looking at the legal options available.

''I don't have the papers with me but we will be definitely exploring all legal options,'' Niranjan Shah, the IPL's vice-chairman was quoted as saying by a private website cricinfo.com.

Yousuf's limited-overs future has been the subject of increasing debate, even though he has produced some exceptional records.

He has been open in his criticisms and recently lashed out at the previous selection committee for continuing to ignore him from the Twenty20 side.

UNI XC RAR AB RN1929

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