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Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Pakistan ban Yousuf for ICL move

Mohammed Yousef
Yousef is considered one of the world's classiest batsmen

Batsman Mohammad Yousuf has been banned from playing for Pakistan after joining the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Yousuf was amongst those named in the squad to play three one-dayers against West Indies in Abu Dhabi.

"(While) he is contracted to the ICL he can't play for or in Pakistan," said Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director of operations Zakir Khan.

Yousuf said: "I want to play for Pakistan but it is up to them (PCB)."

The PCB has a strict policy of banning all players who have joined the ICL.

The contest - a Twenty20 league which is bankrolled by India's largest media group, Zee television, is not recognised by world cricket's governing body, the International Cricket Council.

Yousuf had been set to join the ICL when it was set up in 2007 after he was left out of the Pakistan squad for the World Twenty20 tournament.

But after talks with former PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf, he agreed to forego the move and remain eligible for his country.

However, several former Pakistan players, including ex-skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq, all-rounders Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood, pacemen Shabbir Ahmed and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, and opener Imran Farhat, are still playing in the ICL and are thus barred from national selection by the PCB.

Yousuf left for New Delhi on Monday from Lahore just hours after he was named in a 15-strong Pakistan squad for the one-day series against the West Indies from 12-16 November.

Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam, recently appointed to succeed Geoff Lawson, said the team has enough reserve players to replace Yousuf for the series in Abu Dhabi.

Opener Nasir Jamshed will have a fitness test before leaving for the Middle East as he has just recovered from a bout of malaria.

Pakistan squad to play West Indies: Shoaib Malik (capt), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Younus Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Abdur Rauf, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Fawad Alam.

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see also
Hick agrees to play for ICL team
01 Nov 08 |  Cricket
Pakistan hire Intikhab as coach
25 Oct 08 |  Pakistan
Pakistan coach Lawson dismissed
24 Oct 08 |  Pakistan
Yousuf pledges future to Pakistan
27 Sep 07 |  Pakistan
West Indies in Pakistan 2008
03 Nov 08 |  Cricket

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