Karachi: Pakistan's cricket chief said he was happy that players had turned down lucrative offers to join a breakaway Indian league, saying it showed their patriotism.
"We had faith on our players that they will not join the Indian league," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf told reporters.
Top Pakistani cricketers were linked to the multi-million-dollar breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL), which is being bankrolled by Zee Telefilms, India's largest listed media company.
Seven current players -- captain Shoaib Malik, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq -- were offered lucrative contracts to play the Twenty20 tournament.
Any defections could have hit Pakistan cricket hard as league matches coincide with the important home series against South Africa in October and with their tour of India a month later.
Ashraf said, however, that the ICL was not a big issue with him.
"I was least bothered because I know my players and was sure that they would not join any league which is neither accepted by the Indian board nor by the International Cricket Council."
Akhtar, Asif and Afridi were the first to turn down ICL offers, while Ashraf said Younis had also informed him that he had rejected an approach.
"Younis was made the offer in England where he is playing county cricket but he told the official who contacted him that he is happy playing for his employers Habib Bank and for Pakistan.
"I am pleased to know players' sentiments and they proved they only want to play for Pakistan. The league is only signed by players who have either retired or are on the verge of retirement so we were not bothered."
West Indian batting maestro Brian Lara, who retired in April this year, became the first major signing on a reported 500,000 US dollars a year, while retired Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has reportedly been offered two million dollars.
Reports have also linked former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, retired New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns and New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming to secret negotiations with the league.
The ICL, which carries a winner's purse of one million dollars, is reminiscent of the World Series Cricket, which the late Australian TV mogul Kerry Packer launched to take on the cricket establishment in 1977.
Packer roped in the world's top players for the rebel series after being denied official TV rights by the Australian Cricket Board for matches played in that country.
Similarly, Zee Telefilms was rebuffed by the Indian cricket board in 2004 despite tabling the highest bid of 308 million dollars for Indian rights for a four-year period.
Former England skipper Tony Greig, Dean Jones of Australia and ex-India wicket-keeper Kiran More are on the ICL's organising committee under Kapil Dev, who captained India to its only World Cup title in 1983.