The tug-of-war between the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Indian Cricket League (ICL) over Pakistan’s star batsman Mohammed Yousuf came to an end with the batsman finally joining the latter.
“I made a mistake and on realizing it I have returned to the ICL,” said Yousuf. “There was some misunderstanding and I was misguided as well. I was under the impression that the ICL authorities would not allow me to play for Pakistan, but they are ready to release me whenever I’m on national duty,” he said, explaining his return to the ICL.
In a later development, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced a ban on Yousuf from all forms of the game and is reportedly planning to sue him.
The realization that he made a mistake (by backtracking from the ICL contract) and the contention that he was misguided is apparently not the sole reason for the return. The breach-of-contract suit filed by the ICL actually left the Pakistan middle order batsman in the lurch — he could neither join the IPL and simultaneously lost out on the ICL opportunity. Besides, cricket for Pakistan is fast drying up, both within and outside the country.
The knowledge that he wasn’t getting anywhere and with the ICL not softening its stand on the suit, would have pushed him into realizing that he made a mistake.
The ICL seemed happy with their ‘latest’ catch and said they had settled all legal issues and Yousuf could make his debut in the league as early as on November 7.
But are they expecting any legal recourse from the IPL? “I don’t think they have a legal standing against him for no money exchanged hands. But then your never know,” said ICL’s Himanshu Mody.
On the occasion, the ICL also announced that the World Series would start from November 23. “We will have four teams in the tournament, Bangladesh being the latest addition,” said executive board chairman Kapil Dev.