Fate of ICL players rests on BCCI: Razzaq
Banned Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq feels that until the BCCI relaxes its policy on the Indian Cricket League (ICL), no other cricket board would change its stance on the rebel players.
The 28-year-old all-rounder believes that BCCI has a strong say in world cricket because of their money power.
"The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and the ICC both know that currently India produces a lot of revenue for them, so whatever India decides, they will do," Razzaq said in an interview to a cricket website.
He also stated candidly that a change of heart in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) towards ICL players would come only if there was a change of guard in the game's administration in the country.
"I very much doubt that this ban will be lifted without either the BCCI's say or a change of officials in the PCB," he said.
Razzaq was one of the first players to sign up for the rebel league after he was dropped from Pakistan's Twenty20 World Cup squad in South Africa last year.
Since then, although he has taken back his retirement decision from international cricket, he and other Pakistani ICL players have been banned from featuring in all forms of the game, including domestic cricket.
Razzaq also felt that it would be useless to pitch into a legal battle with the PCB over the domestic ban issue.
"In England, everyone is equal in the eyes of the law but in Pakistan that's not the case. You can't challenge the government or government bodies like the PCB. The courts belong to the government and so does the PCB, why would one over-rule the other? This sort of thing can't be successful in Pakistan," he stated.
Razzaq, who appeared in 46 Tests and 231 One-day Internationals for Pakistan before joining the ICL, however, said that he had not given up hopes of donning the national colours again. Neither did he say that he has any regrets about joining the ICL.
"The ICL contract doesn't mean that I definitely can't play in the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup. It could still happen."
Razzaq remained optimistic that eventually the PCB would lift its ban on ICL players, much like their English counterparts who have softened their stance on its rebel cricketers.
"The ban on ICL players could be lifted worldwide or the PCB officials could be replaced and the new set of officials may decide to lift the ban," he said. "Just look at county cricket. Initially we were banned but now that it has been lifted, I'm playing for Surrey.
"So it's not impossible to think that I could be playing for the ICL and the PCB by this time next year."
He said playing in the ICL was the only available option for him as the Indian Premier League only selects contracted players.
"I've got no regrets about signing for the ICL because I probably couldn't have played in the IPL even if I had wanted to. The IPL only selects those players who have been recommended by the domestic cricket boards. I hadn't signed a central contract and I had been dropped from the team so there's no guarantee I'd have been able to play in the IPL anyway."
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