Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt has done a volte-face on the life ban imposed on former captain Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, saying no such action has been taken.
Pakistan's cricket authorities on Wednesday morning banned Younis and Yousuf and took stern action against five other national cricketers on charges ranging from misconduct to ball tampering.
Those punished included former captain Shoaib Malik, Rana Naveed-ul-Hasan, Shahid Afridi and the Akmal brothers, Kamran and Umar.
Butt now says the PCB has decided to go easy on the senior duo on the basis of recommendations made by a probe panel formed to look into the reasons behind Pakistan's disastrous tour of Australia.
Later in the evening, the PCB also issued a clarification on the issue.
"Some media channels have interpreted the first recommendation of the inquiry committee regarding Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan as being a life ban on these two players from playing for Pakistan," said the PCB statement.
"PCB wishes to clarify that the recommendation of the committee is not a life ban on these cricketers. There is no specified term in the recommendation for these two players. As and when the PCB deems appropriate, these players will be considered for selection for the national team."
The PCB statement came more than four hours after it was announced that Younis and Yousuf will not be selected for international cricket in all three formats.