Former Test opener Imran Farhat, who appeared in the rebel Indian Cricket League, on Wednesday, said he would apply for British nationality next year, saying the cricket authorities had closed all doors on him for pursuing a cricket career in Pakistan.
"My wife is a British national and after discussions with my family I feel the best thing is to apply for a British passport next year in March. At least that way I can earn my livelihood from cricket as a professional without any problems," Farhat said.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has banned all those players, who appeared in ICL Twenty20 tournament, from playing in PCB-organised events.
Farhat said he had no option but to move ahead for the sake of his livelihood. "The fact is that it is appearing more difficult everyday to play cricket in Pakistan because of the PCB attitude. I have to earn my living from cricket and have no option but to apply for British nationality.
"If we are not allowed to even play domestic cricket and do our jobs how can we earn our living," he said. Ehsan Malik, a PCB official, though said the order was interim and would be discussed at the governing body meeting next month.
"It is an interim policy decision and it can be reversed if the governing body does not support it but for the moment the ban on these players stays," Malik said. Malik said players were aware of the consequences of their actions.
"They were aware of what can happen. The board has to work according to its regulations. We can't allow our players to play in unauthorised foreign leagues," he said.
Many Pakistani players have settled in the United Kingdom in the recent past like Saqlain Mushtaq and Mohammad Akram. Farhat said the players were considering filing a legal suit against the PCB and against the ban but admitted a senior player had another viewpoint on the issue.
"Under the 1973 constitution of the board they cannot stop us from earning our livelihood," he said. Imran Qureshi, whom the players have approached for filing the petition, said the players were waiting for former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to return home from Haj to take his opinion on the matter.
"Right now we have not filed any petition in the court. But yes the Board decision can be challenged because even the country's constitution does not prevent any citizen from earning his livelihood," Qureshi said.