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ICL-bound Pak players to face ICC penalty?

Just disassociating themselves from the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) won’t fetch the ICL-bound Pakistani players a berth in the national team as they risk the prospect of facing penalties once again before being cleared for national duty.

A senior official of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said although some of the ICL players had informed the PCB that they were ready to end their association with the ICL to play for Pakistan again, the matter was now under the consideration of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“We have written to the ICC for legal and other advise because the ICL was an unauthorised tournament and under existing regulations there are penalties for taking part in an unauthorised event although one might have decided to leave it,” PCB chief operating officer (COO) Saleem Altaf said on Tuesday.

He pointed out that in the past also there were examples in other countries of players being penalised for taking part in unauthorised events.

“They are lot of legal ramifications involved and we see it as a subjudice matter. So we don’t want to make anymore comments but wait and see what advise we get,” Altaf said.

The PCB COO confirmed that senior batsman, Mohammad Yousuf and some other players have expressed their desire to play for the national team again.

The ICL was passing through some tough times due to the global economic slump down. The organisers are yet to announce the schedule of this season’s tournament, and said they are ready to release their existing contracted players to make them available for national selection.

The monetary situation of the rebel league is so grim that the players have alleged that they have not received their payments for the last seven months.

The PCB had banned the players who joined the ICL from playing domestic as well as international cricket as the league was not given official recognition by the ICC or its member boards.

But in February the Sindh High Court had allowed the players to take part in domestic cricket after they appealed against the ban.

Altaf, however, said the PCB had to look at many aspects of the issue, but obviously it wanted its best players to be available for the country.

“How this will happen or what method has to be adopted we haven’t decided yet,” he said.

He also pointed out that until now the ICL had not made it clear whether they were going to release the Pakistani players without any legal hitches.

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