Yousuf may quit ICL, be back for Tests

Thursday, September 27, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier batsman Mohammad Yousuf is expected to announce his decision to quit the Indian Cricket League (ICL) after a meeting with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf in Lahore tomorrow.

Sources told ‘The News’ that Yousuf has “almost made up his mind” to cancel his contract with the rebel ICL but much will depend on how his meeting goes with the PCB chief.

The meeting was earlier scheduled to be held today (Wednesday) but has to be rescheduled as Ashraf is currently in Johannesburg where he went to the watch the World Twenty20 final between Pakistan and India. He is scheduled to return home today.

Yousuf caused a storm earlier this summer when he joined the ICL after being snubbed by Pakistan while selecting their World Twenty20 squad. Three other Pakistani cricketers — former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, all-rounder Abdul Razzaq and opener Imran Farhat — also joined the ICL.

However, the PCB, which had earlier announced that players joining the ICL will be banned, decided just to pursue Yousuf because he is the backbone of Pakistan’s batting line-up, especially in Tests.

Sources said that the PCB chief will offer him a substantial amount as compensation if Yousuf agrees to cancel his lucrative contract with the ICL.

But even if Yousuf decides to quit ICL, it seems unlikely that he will be able to feature in the opening Test against South Africa starting in Karachi from October 21.

Yousuf just recently came back from a tableeghi visit and has not played any cricket since early August. However, the batsman says that he has been keeping himself fit by running regularly.

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