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2 Pakistan cricketers sign ICL deal: report

cricket Updated: Aug 16, 2007 15:13 IST

PTI
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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) might find itself in a new crisis with unconfirmed reports claiming that senior players Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq have signed deals with the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

To complicate matters, opener Imran Farhat has joined former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and batsman Asim Kamal in confirming that he was seriously considering an ICL offer.

Yousuf and Razzaq, who were dropped from the Pakistan squad for next month's Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa, had not signed the central contracts offered to them by the Pakistan board, which had an August 15 deadline.

Farhat was candid in his view on the ICL offer and said, "Why should I hide anything? I am seriously having talks with the people concerned. If I sign, I will not hide anything. I will make it public."

"Every person has a right to earn good, clean money. We are no different. I am consulting my lawyers as I have already signed a central contract with the board," the Test opener said.

Kamal too said that he had to think about his future and family and since he was not a regular for Pakistan, he was giving the ICL offer a serious thought.

Both the players, however, admitted they were also keen to play for Pakistan and would like some compromise to be reached with the board which would allow them to play in the ICL and be considered for Pakistan selection.

Inzamam also confirmed that negotiations were on between some players and the ICL.

"The next few days a lot of things will be clear," said Inzamam who has not been given any new contract by the board.

The PCB on Wednesday reiterated its earlier stance that any player who goes to play in the ICL will not be considered for Pakistan selection again.

"We can't force anyone to sign the central contracts we have offered them. But we expect our players to behave responsibly and logically. So far we have no information about Yousuf or Razzaq having signed up for the ICL," PCB chief executive Shafqat Nagmi said earlier in the day.

However, a player who has been offered a contract admitted that some of the players who had claimed being made an offer by the ICL or rejecting it were not being entirely honest.

"Some of the amounts quoted by the players are incorrect while some even didn't get any formal offers from the ICL," he said.

Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, a former secretary of the board and a well-known cricket administrator in Pakistan, however, said the PCB set-up needed to adopt a more flexible and diplomatic stance on the ICL.

"How can one give such strong statements on an organisation about which they have no idea? I don't see anything wrong in some of our players going to play in the Indian league and earning some good money. Why should they be barred from playing for Pakistan again?" he questioned.