LONDON: Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to reconsider the forced ostracism of the ICL players, including him, in order to revive Pakistan cricket from its unyielding slump.
Rana, of Lahore Badshahs and currently representing Yorkshire in county cricket, also offered to quit the ICL immediately — in a similar manner to Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq — providing the PCB guarantees him a spot in the national side.
‘We are all here to serve our country, if the PCB wants us to,’ Rana told Dawn.
‘However, no one from the PCB has contacted us yet with regards to cancelling our ICL contracts and representing Pakistan. They have even selected the squad for the Twenty20 World Cup now and despite us [Naved, Razzaq, Imran Nazir] being named in the original 30-man squad, a PCB official is yet to speak to any of us.’
‘Since the board is aware of our decisions and future plans, it is up to them to contact us, ensure us that we will be in their plans and if that is the case then we are more than willing to cancel our ICL contracts.’
In a recent statement, the PCB clarified its position on the ICL players and that a decision on their national reckoning would remain pending until the ICL contracts are cancelled.
‘The PCB’s position on players who have participated in ICL is that such players must resign from ICL if they are to be considered for selection by PCB. While permitting such players to play cricket, PCB will decide on case-to-case basis the penalties to be imposed and the time period for which they will remain banned,’ a PCB statement said.
Rana, however, remained sceptical of the statement and wanted assurance from the PCB before breaking ties with the ICL. ‘We can’t simply cancel our contracts just to get the Board to talk to us. What will happen if we cancel our contracts and get dumped by the PCB as well?’
Judging by his refusal to get involved with the American Premier League (APL) until it gets sanctioned by the ICC as well as ICL’s latest season cancellations, Rana obviously wants a swift return to international duties.
‘I’ve been approach by the APL organisers to represent the Pakistani team in the tournament but I’d rather hear from the PCB on the league’s status before confirming anything.’
However, with the PCB unable to take a swift stance on the matter, and based on Rana’s experience of the English conditions and his prowess with the bat as a pinch-hitter, the PCB may well rue the missed opportunity at the World Twenty20.