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Pakistan board imposes domestic ban on ICL players

KARACHI (Reuters) – Pakistan’s cricket authorities have banned players who appeared in the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) from playing in the ongoing domestic season.

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shabbir Ahmed, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Farhat, Taufiq Umar and Azhar Mahmood — all test players — appeared in the first edition of the ICL in India that finished earlier this month.

The breakaway Twenty20 ICL is not recognised by the International Cricket Council or its member boards including India and Pakistan.

“It is a policy decision that players who play in unauthorised leagues cannot be allowed to play in any domestic competition organised by the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board),” said Shafiq Ahmed, PCB domestic cricket general manager.

“We cannot allow violation of our rules and regulations by anyone. We don’t think it is a harsh decision.”

The PCB has already said it would not consider the ICL contracted players for national selection.

The affected players said they would seek to get the ban removed by a court.

“How can they stop us from playing domestic cricket. It is not fair on us. Cricket is our bread and butter. This is a violation of our fundamental rights,” Farhat told Reuters.

Shabbir accused the PCB of pandering to the whims of the Indian board which was stung by the ICL success.

“But we will go to court and get a stay order. They cannot stop us from playing even domestic cricket,” he said.

Taufiq said going to court was the only option available to the players.

“Our Pakistan careers are already finished. What else can we do,” he said.

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