KARACHI: An angry Mohammad Yousuf on Friday blamed the attitude of Pakistan cricket authorities and captain Shoaib Malik for his move to the unofficial Indian league, denying he was motivated by money.
The 34-year-old was banned from all cricket in Pakistan after he joined the lucrative Indian Cricket League (ICL) on Wednesday.
Yousuf said the attitude of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Malik pushed him towards the ICL.
"Everyone is saying that I have signed (up for) the ICL because of money but the real reason was the attitude of the PCB and Malik which forced me to join the league," Yousuf told in a radio interview.
Yousuf left for India on Monday, hours after being named in Pakistan's squad to play three one-day internationals against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi.
The player had previously been left out of the side for a four-nation Twenty20 competition in Canada in October because of visa problems. But he said that was not the whole story.
"I was told that my visa for Canada was delayed. In fact afterwards I got to know that my visa was applied (for) in a wrong manner and I was left out of the team and no one from the PCB bothered to talk to me," he added.
"I am the senior most player and team's best performer for the last several years but I was left out of the team. They don't want me in the team so why not I join a league where I am welcomed?" said Yousuf.
"(The) captain never gave me the respect I deserved."
Yousuf signed for the ICL in September last year after being left out of Pakistan's Twenty20 World Cup squad. The PCB managed to convince him to continue playing for the national side and return the ICL signing-on fee.
But he was lured back to the ICL once more after missing the Canada tournament.
"The PCB must give respect to the senior players and if they don't, more and more senior players will leave for the ICL. That has been the case since last year," said Yousuf.
The ICL authorities said they have dropped all the cases against Yousuf for breach of contract in 2007. Yousuf will now make his ICL debut for Lahore Badshahs on Friday.
Yousuf said he still harbours hopes of playing for Pakistan.
"I know I still have three to four years of cricket left in me, so I can still play for Pakistan provided I am accepted by the PCB and my team-mates, especially the captain."