Abdul Razzaq flies out for England on Friday to join the Pakistan squad at the World T20. He will become the first player to represent his country after being banned by his home board for joining the Indian Cricket League. The all-rounder joins the squad as a replacement for Yasir Arafat, who is injured.
“I am over the moon. It’s a great moment and a chance to revive my career,” Razzaq said. “I will be flying early Friday and hope to join the team in time for the Sri Lanka match.”
He is scheduled to land in England just hours before the SuperEight match. “I am very happy and if given a chance I will do my very best for the country,” he said.
“I made a big mistake by joining the Indian Cricket League (ICL) but no one from the previous PCB set-up stopped me,” said the 29-year-old veteran of 46 Tests and 231 ODIs, who joined the ICL after being left out of the squad for the inaugural World T20 meet in South Africa in 2007. “Now the two-year period is behind me and I am focused on reviving my career.”
The International Cricket Council said in a release that Razzaq was cleared by the technical committee of the World T20 because he “has been deemed eligible to take part in the tournament having terminated his contract with the Indian Cricket League and received a sanction from the PCB for his involvement in unofficial cricket.”
The release didn’t say what the “sanction” was. “The nature of that sanction is determined by each ICC Member Board subject to the laws within their own territories.
The requirement for each Member to impose some form of sanction is in accordance with an ICC Board resolution agreed at its most recent meeting in April.
The rationale for the resolution was to discourage players from switching at will from official to unofficial cricket and back again.” In India, players have to serve a “cooling off” period of a year to be eligible for selection to the national team. It’s clear the Pakistan hasn’t toed that line.
The members of the technical committee which cleared Razzaq are David Richardson (ICC technical committee chairman), Steve Elworthy (tournament director), Campbell Jamieson (representative of IDI, the ICC’s commercial arm), Alan Fordham (ECB representative), Ian Bishop (independent nomination) and David Lloyd (independent nomination).