Yousuf confirms severed ties with ICL

LAHORE: Former Pakistan batsman Mohamad Yousuf said today he had produced a letter confirming he had severed ties with a rebel Indian league, and was keen to revive his international career.

Yousuf last year defected to the Indian Cricket League (ICL), not recognised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or the International Cricket Council (ICC), leaving him barred from playing for Pakistan. “I have submitted a no-objection certificate from the ICL and it’s now up to the authorities to clear my way to play international cricket,” said 34-year-old Yousuf.

Yousuf and other Pakistani players who featured in the ICL received a reprieve in February when the Sindh high court suspended the ban on them. The PCB, in line with other boards around the world, recently announced an amnesty for ICL players who gave up their links to the league by May 31. Yousuf last week claimed he had broken his ties with the ICL but the PCB demanded a copy of the no-objection letter.

“I have handed the letter to the PCB and now await their reply as I desperately want to play for my country,” said Yousuf, who had played 79 Tests and 269 ODIs before joining the ICL in November last year. The batsman, who set a world record of 1,788 runs in 2006 — the most in a calendar year — joined the ICL in September 2007 in protest at being left out of Pakistan’s squad for the inaugural World Twenty20.

The PCB management persuaded him to abandon the ICL contract and got him a contract with the Indian Premier League, sanctioned by both the BCCI and the ICC, but Yousuf rejoined the ICL in November last year. PCB’s human resources director confirmed he received a letter from Yousuf.

“We have to verify this letter and put it before the PCB chairman,” said Wasim Bari, a former Pakistan captain. The ICL is bank-rolled by India’s largest media company, Zee Telefilms, and was launched in 2007 with players from all ten Test-playing countries.