Posted: 28 September 2007 at 2:38am
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am willing to do anything for Pakistan - Yousuf
September 27, 2007
Mohammad Yousuf and Nasim Ashraf address the assembled media AFP
Mohammad Yousuf has agreed to cancel his contract with the Indian Cricket League (ICL) and opted instead to represent Pakistan after talks with Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
"I had a fruitful meeting with Yousuf today and he has signed a central contract with the PCB after agreeing not to play in the ICL," Ashraf said. "He is now available to represent Pakistan. He is the backbone of Pakistan's batting and we are happy that he is back."
Yousuf, together with Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran Farhat and Abdul Razzaq, signed on with the league over a month ago. Though it wasn't said at the time, the decision was thought to be a result of his axing from Pakistan's squad for the ICC World Twenty20. Razzaq, who was also axed, announced his retirement from international cricket, a decision he has yet to take back.
"Whatever I have achieved is because of my country and I am willing to do anything for Pakistan," Yousuf told Cricinfo. "I didn't know this clause in the ICL contract that priority had to be given to the league instead of Pakistan when international matches are happening simultaneously."
Yousuf was unwilling to say what the legal repercussions might be of opting out of the ICL contract, saying the board would handle all such issues.
However, the executive president of the ICL, Ashish Kaul, clarified to Cricinfo that the ICL would not object to Yousuf playing for Pakistan if matches clash. "We will not object. Our contract with Yousuf does not stop him from playing for Pakistan."
Kaul also said that the ICL has not received any intimation from Yousuf about cancellation of the contract. "As per the contract between Mohammad Yousuf and ICL, he will play for ICL as per mutually agreed terms and conditions. We have no information that states otherwise. As far as ICL is concerned, Yousuf is playing for ICL."
Though no similar moves have been made for the other three, the development represents a considerable coup for the Pakistan board, who have made no secret of their desire to lure Yousuf back. With the first Test against South Africa to begin on Monday, it means he is at least available to shore up a thin-looking middle order, which already has to fill the considerable gap left by Inzamam.
Yousuf was recently selected ICC's Test player of the year for an outstanding 2006, in which he scored a world record 1788 Test runs with nine hundreds.
gr8 newzz....but...sad to follow..
Afridi pulls out of South Africa Tests
September 27, 2007
Shahid Afridi played a major role in helping Pakistan reaching the final of the ICC World Twenty20 AFP
Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan allrounder, has opted out of the Test series against South Africa, indicating he did not want to play while fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
Salahuddin Ahmed, chief selector confirmed that Afridi had asked to be rested for the Test series and his request had been accepted. "Afridi asked the board to give him a rest because he wanted to fast during the remaining part of Ramadan," Salahuddin said. "We have decided to accept his request and allowed him a rest. He will be in consideration for the one-day series."
"I asked the Pakistan board to allow me to skip the two Tests against South Africa because it would be difficult to fast and play in Ramadan," Afridi told AFP.
Afridi dismissed suggestions that he had withdrawn because of his poor show in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 against India. "We lost the final due to poor batting and I apologised to the fans for not doing my part in the final but that did not influence my decision of not playing Tests."
Afridi was named Player of the Tournament in South Africa with 91 runs at a strike rate of 197.82 and 12 wickets at an economy rate of 6.71.
Pakistan's squad for the first Test against South Africa is scheduled to be announced on Friday.
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