Mohammad Yousuf, the Pakistani batsman, has ruled out ending his association with the unsanctioned ICL, instead suggesting the PCB should resolve the impasse over the Indian Twenty20 league with the ICC. Yousuf is among the 11 ICL players permitted to play domestic cricket in Pakistan after the Sind High Court temporarily lifted the bans imposed by the PCB, but the board maintains he will have to leave the ICL in order to play international cricket.
"How can I break my contract with the ICL, which is for a period of three years," Yousuf said. "If the PCB wants me to play for Pakistan they should resolve the matter with the ICC.
"I am a cricketer and playing cricket is my profession. I never wanted to be embroiled in court cases but the previous PCB set-up got me entangled in court cases, and now I am unable to represent my country."
Yousuf had initially signed up with the ICL in September 2007, but opted out after the PCB intervened with the promise of a lucrative contract in the IPL. But the ICL took the matter to an arbitration court in Mumbai, arguing that as Yousuf had signed up with them, he was ineligible to play for any other league. Yousuf failed to bag an IPL contract, and eventually joined the ICL in November 2008. However, he said he was available to play for Pakistan.
"I am still world's No. 2 player in Test rankings and No. 9 [he's ranked No. 8] in one-day rankings and have a lot to offer to my country," he said. "It is up to the PCB to realise how important I am for the team."
The PCB's present administration has been keen on getting back ICL players into the fold, but while also maintaining that it would be only possible if the ICL reaches a compromise with the BCCI and ICL. The ICC deferred a decision on the ICL's move for recognition at its last board meeting in Perth, but a meeting between the ICL, ICC and BCCI has been arranged on February 21 in Johannesburg.