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PCB reiterates stance on rebel league

Jolted after four of its star cricketers joined the Indian Cricket League, the Pakistan board says it will formulate a policy on it.

cricket Updated: Aug 21, 2007 12:19 IST


Jolted after four of its star cricketers defected to the Indian Cricket League, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday reiterated that it would slam the door on whoever joins the rebel ICL.

The PCB reaction came hours after the ICL announced in Mumbai on Monday that former Pakistan captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq and Imran Farhat had signed up to play in the rebel league in its initial season.

Pakistan's Asim Kamal and Azhar Mahmood are also slated to shortly sign contracts for the league.

"Our policy remains clear. Since the ICL is not recognised by either the International Cricket Council or sanctioned by the Indian Cricket Board, we don't recognise it either," Ehsan Malik, the communications director of the board told PTI.

"Our policy is that any player who goes to play in the league will not be considered for selection again," he added.

Malik said the board would meet soon to formulate a mechanism under which legally a policy on the ICL would be formulated and then enforced.

Malik, however, admitted the signing of four players had come as a surprise to the board.

Shafqat Nagmi, the chief executive of the board, said the PCB always expected the players to behave logically and responsibly.

"Our stand on the league is based on logic. We don't have direct confirmation from the players that they have signed up and we will wait and see now," he said.

While Inzamam was denied a contract, Yousuf and Razzaq did not sign it and Farhat asked the board to release him.

Nagmi said any official policy on the ICL and the players who go to play in it would be finalised with the approval of the board's ad-hoc committee which would meet soon.

"As soon as the Chairman, Dr Nasim Ashraf returns from abroad, we will look into this issue as it does directly concern us now. Obviously we are disappointed at losing senior players," he said.

Yousuf and Razzaq, who have been denying signing the contract with ICL, were placed in the category A of the central contracts offered to them by the board which guaranteed a monthly salary of Rs 250,000 for them although the players had initially demanded 300,000 per month.

The board had also kept special performance and incentive related bonuses in the central contracts for winning series and individual performances.

According to the contract offered to the players by the ICL, they stand to make around 10.3 million for just 45 days of commitment to the ICL with 30 days of matches.

Meanwhile, chief selector, Salahuddin Ahmed reacted with caution to the news about the four players having signed up with the ICL.

He heads the selection committee that dropped Yousuf and Razzaq from the Pakistan squad for the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

Salahuddin admitted that the signing of the four players, particularly Yousuf and Inzamam, was a big setback for Pakistan cricket.

"We definitely had them in mind for the Test matches as they are quality players but now we have to look ahead at the same time," he said.

First Published: Aug 21, 2007 11:49 IST