Karachi:In a volte-face, the Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday claimed that former skippers Muhammad Yousuf and Younus Khan were never banned and can be brought back to the side anytime.
PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi said the Chairman of the board Ijaz Butt had the authority to include Younus in the team when he wanted.
"It is a wrong impression that the inquiry committee had placed a life ban on both players. There was no ban we had recommended that they not be selected for the national team for the time being and be monitored," he said.
"Since they are not banned like Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved for a definite period they can be restored to the national team anytime the board Chairman wishes as he enjoys wide ranging powers as the Chairman and chief executive of the board," Rizvi said.
While Yousuf has retired from international cricket and is adamant he will not change his decision for the time being, Younus has appealed against his ban.
Six players including Younus, Malik and Rana have lodged appeals and the hearing of Malik and Younus is due to be held on Saturday.
Ahmed Qayyum, the lawyer for Younus Khan, said there was nothing against his client on basis of which the board had banned him from playing for Pakistan.
"My client is innocent and has a very strong case. Tomorrow at the hearing I am going to again repeat to the judge to allow the media to cover our hearing as we have nothing to hide," Qayyum said.
He said he would also insist on cross examining the members of the inquiry committee although the judge had initially ruled this out.
"I don't think the legal advisor of the board Mr. Talib Rizvi who is representing the inquiry committee in the appeal hearings would be able to satisfy our queries. I will be asking the judge to have the inquiry committee members appear in person for the hearings."