Mohammad Yousuf, the Pakistan batsman, may not be available for the Indian Premier League's auction on Wednesday because of a legal complication. Lawyers for the Indian Cricket League (ICL) have, in a letter to the owners of the IPL's eight franchises, said Yousuf's legal status is currently the subject of arbitration, under which his participation in the IPL has been stayed.
"Mohammad Yousuf cannot participate in the tournament organised by the IPL or any other tournament organised by any other league in direct competition with the Indian Cricket League,"
ALMT, the lawyers representing the ICL, said in the letter.
"Such participation would amount to breach of the order and our client reserve their right to take such other legal recourse against all parties concerned."
Yousuf initially signed up with the ICL after being dropped from Pakistan's squad for the World Twenty20 last September. Soon after, however, he was convinced by the PCB to turn his back on the ICL, represent Pakistan and also sign up with the IPL, the rival tournament officially sanctioned by the BCCI.
The matter went into arbitration where Yousuf's lawyer, Tafuzzal Rizvi, argued he had "no contract" with the ICL as the money [paid to Yousuf] was "received back by the ICL without any objection". However the presiding judge passed an order on December 15, 2007, restraining Yousuf from appearing in the IPL or any league rivalling the ICL, and to maintain status quo till further orders.
Wednesday's high-profile auction in Mumbai will see the eight franchises bid for 80-odd players, including several top internationals. Yousuf's name is included in the IPL's roster but whether it will be there on Wednesday morning is a moot point.