Sat, 02 May 2009 21:09:47 GMT

Pakistan cricket needs ICL players back: Abbas

Karachi: Pakistani players aligned with the rebel Indian Cricket League should be considered for national selection as the humbling ODI series loss  to Australia has shown that the country needs them back, feels former captain Zaheer Abbas.

"I think the results against Australia show that we still need players like Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Nazir, Rana Naved (all contracted to the rebel Indian Cricket League) and they must be included in the national team," Abbas said.

Pakistan are trailing 1-3 in the ongoing five-match ODI series against Australia in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Abbas said the only factor deterring players from breaking away from ICL was the uncertainty over what the PCB would decide for them.

"The fact is that these players are concerned that if they end their ICL contracts and the board bans them or does not consider them for national selection what would be their future. I think Abdul Razzaq is a prime example of how confused the players are," he added.

Abbas said he has advised Yousuf and Razzaq to cancel their ICL contracts and play for Pakistan again.

"These are players who can serve our cricket for some more years so why waste them?" he asked.

Meanwhile, media reports said PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt had spoken to captain Younis Khan, coach Intikhab Alam and national selectors on the possibility of recalling some of the ICL players for the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June.

The PCB has told the ICL players to resign from the rebel league by end of May after which they would be considered for national selection after the board decides whether they be financially penalised, banned or spend a cooling period before playing for Pakistan again.

The reports said that the general impression was that Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved, Imran Nazir should all be considered for the World Cup in England.

"The feeling is that if these players leave the ICL quickly the board can impose a financial penalty on them and make them eligible for the T20 World Cup," one source said.

He said Razzaq, Naved and Nazir could still make the T20 squad as their names had been sent in the preliminary list of 30 and the board has informed the ICC the three were still in the list of reserve players for the tournament. 

Source: PTI

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