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Players' 'no' to ICL pleases PCB

Chairman Naseem Ashraf lauds Pakistani cricketers for rejecting lucrative offers to join the breakaway Indian Cricket League.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Karachi
UPDATED ON AUG 05, 2007 06:23 PM IST

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Naseem Ashraf has lauded the country's players for showing patriotism by turning down lucrative offers to join a breakaway Indian league.

"I am pleased to know players' sentiments and they proved they only want to play for Pakistan. The league is only signed by players who have either retired or are on the verge of retirement so we were not bothered," he was quoted as saying by The News.

Seven current players -- captain Shoaib Malik, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq -- were offered lucrative contracts to play the Twenty20 tournament by the Zee group, the organisers of the ICL.

Akhtar, Asif and Afridi were the first to turn down ICL offers, while Ashraf said Younis had also informed him that he had rejected an approach.

"Younis was made the offer in England where he is playing county cricket but he told the official who contacted him that he is happy playing for his employers Habib Bank and for Pakistan," he said.

"We had faith in our players that they will not join the Indian league. I was least bothered because I know my players and was sure that they would not join any league which is neither accepted by the Indian board nor by the International Cricket Council," he said.

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