Inzamam slams Pakistan U-turn on ICL players
Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq Friday lashed out at Pakistan for making a U-turn on selecting cricketers from an unrecognised Indian league and succumbing to “pressure.”
Pakistan selectors Monday named three rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) players — Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved-ul Hasan and Imran Nazir — in a preliminary 30-man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June.
The selectors said the trio were included subject to clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
But the next day, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) dropped the trio, saying they were not included in the 30-man list sent to the ICC.
The PCB has sought clarification from the ICL on the status of Pakistani players’ contracts before taking a final decision on their inclusion.
Inzamam criticised the sudden about-turn.
“I think the PCB succumbed to the pressure from the ICC. If there were rules barring the PCB not to include the ICL players then why didn’t our board know these rules,” Inzamam told AFP.
The ICL — bankrolled in 2007 by India’s largest media Group, Zee television — was not recognised by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the ICC and players taking part in it were barred by member countries.
The high court in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh, however, cleared all Pakistani players in the rebel league last February, paving the way for their return to domestic cricket and into contention for the national side.
Inzamam said ICL players would strengthen the national side.
“Why is Pakistan taking pressure from the ICC and the BCCI? If they include ICL players then our team will become very strong and will perform better.
“Look at India. Pakistan and India were standing at the same place in 2007 after we both were knocked out of the World Cup (in West Indies) in the first round but with ICL and IPL (Indian Premier League) they have gained a lot.”
Inzamam accused the ICC of fearing private leagues because of the threat to sponsorships.
“I see only one reason for the ICC’s opposition to the ICL and that is they have to share finances as private leagues also take away sponsorhips, which is a danger for them,” said Inzamam.
Inzamam, who retired from international cricket in 2007, lamanted the ban.
“Why are we keeping ICL players away from international cricket? It’s unjust and I hope the PCB reviews its decision. We must fight for the cause beneficial for us,” said Inzamam.
The ICC said it would discuss the ICL issue at its executive board meeting in Dubai on April 17 and 18.