Even as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) continues with its opposition to the ICL, eight more Pakistan players, including fast bowler Mohammad Sami, have reportedly signed up with the rebel league.
Apart from Sami, spinners Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed are among those who have signed their contracts but an official announcement from the ICL is expected to come soon.
The authorities had hoped the domestic ban would serve as a deterrent to players approached by the ICL. Sources said the ICL has signed the 10 players as it plans to field a team from Pakistan in its second tournament in March-April. The other players said to have joined forces with the ICL include Imran Nazir, Hasan Raza, Naved Latif, Humayun Farhat, Riaz Afridi, and Arshad Khan who is currently working as a member of the national junior selection committee.
However, PCB Director (Cricket Operations) Zakir Khan said the players who wanted to play for the ICL were welcome to do so but they would have to face the ban like other players who joined the rebel league faced. "The Board is doing everything to increase the financial rewards and incentives for the national and domestic players and we are also going to start our Premier League soon," he said. "But if someone still wants to sign up for the ICL we have no problems but we will not change our policy," he added.
Sami toured India recently while Nazir and Naved have recently played for Pakistan. Arshad toured India in 2005. They will join Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran Farhat, Abdul Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed, Taufiq Umar and Azhar Mahmood in the ICL.
Former captain Moin Khan, who is an ICL representative in Pakistan, said he could not confirm or deny anything. “Our policy is simple if any new player is signed, the announcement will come from the headquarters. We are not supposed to make any announcements,” Moin said.
But he did confirm that the ICL had been in touch with some players for the last few weeks. The PCB had banned the six players who played in the inaugural edition of the ICL last December and they are planning to appeal in court against the domestic ban.
Andre Adams signs up
Auckland: New Zealand bowling all-rounder Andre Adams has become the latest Kiwi cricketer to sign with ICL, the media reported here on Wednesday. The news comes just days after New Zealand paceman Shane Bond announced that he is heading to India for ICL. Playing possibly in his last of domestic season, Adams said that the deal with ICL would ensure his family’s future. “I can’t talk figures but it’s a lot better than I’d be getting here,” Adams was quoted as saying by a New Zealand news channel.
The move will reportedly see Adams get a massive pay rise worth around $400,000 a season for three years. Adams has been brilliant in the domestic competition but has been unwanted by the Black Caps recently. And his ICL contract has ruled out any chance of return.