Yousuf non-committal about leaving ICL

Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf remained non-committal on leaving the rebel Indian cricket League and enhance his chances of returning to Pak squad.

updated: February 19, 2009 14:52 IST
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Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf on Thursday remained non-committal on leaving the rebel Indian cricket League and enhance his chances of returning to the national squad.

In a meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ejaz Butt in Lahore today, Yousuf insisted the board should consider him for selection since the International Cricket Council (ICC) has not forced its member boards to ban any players for taking part in the league.

"I have not thought about leaving the ICL till now although the board Chairman felt this would be the easiest way for me to make a comeback to the Pakistan team," Yousuf told reporters after the meeting.

The middle-order batsman said the meeting was held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere and Butt conveyed that he wanted him (Yousuf) to play for Pakistan again.

"I am grateful that the board Chairman is willing to work out a solution to this problem and has given me a patient hearing," Yousuf said.

Butt had earlier remarked that instead of running around, Yousuf should come and meet him to discuss the ICL issue.

Yousuf joined the rebel league last year as he was unhappy with the treatment meted out by former captain Shoaib Malik and previous board officials.

Sources in the board said Butt had told Yousuf he should either leave the ICL immediately and return to the Pakistan team or be patient until a solution was found.

"Butt has assured Yousuf that if he and other ICL players get relief from the courts regarding the international ban imposed on them for playing in the ICL, the PCB would be able to convince the ICC that it would have to consider these players for national selection," a source said.

Around 17 players contracted with the ICL have been allowed to play domestic cricket after the Sindh High Court suspended the domestic ban following a petition filed by the players, including Yousuf.

Sources said Butt had also reminded Yousuf he had made a mistake joining the ICL as he had a valid central contract with the board which had taken good care of him and compensated him financially for not signing the ICL contract in 2007.

"Butt also made it clear to Yousuf that he didn't see a bright future for the ICL given the existing financial conditions and he should start thinking about ending his ICL contract and focus on playing for Pakistan," the source said.