|Player:||Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf|
DateLine: 12th February 2009
Pakistan cricket authorities on Wednesday said they would respect a court decision to suspend ban on players who featured in the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL), paving their return to domestic matches.
The move came a week after Sindh high court suspended the ban saying it was unjust. Nineteen Pakistani players featured in the ICL, bankrolled by India's largest media group, Zee Television, but not recognised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India or the International Cricket Council (ICC). In 2007, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) barred the players, who included former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and star batsman Mohammad Yousuf, from playing at all levels in the country.
"All the eleven players who contested the ban are now allowed to play in the domestic matches. The procedure adopted to ban the players was wrong," PCB legal adviser Shan Gul said outside the court after a further hearing was adjourned. "We bow before the court's decision and there is no bar on these eleven players from playing in domestic matches. If other ICL players contest the case they will also be allowed to play."
Mohammad Yousuf was among the 11 players who can now return to domestic cricket after lining up for the Lahore Badshahs in the ICL. The side was a major attraction, winning the Twenty20 league last year. Gul moved to dispel the impression that the PCB imposed the ban on ICL players.
"ICC is the governing body and their rulings are binding on all member boards. ICC Executive Board gave the rulings on the ICL-related matters and according to that, the boards banned the players," said Gul.