ICL: Ashraf promises legal help to Yousuf

Published: Monday, October 22, 2007, 20:00 [IST]
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Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Nasim Ashraf has made it clear that star batsman Mohammad Yousuf will be backed by the board if he is dragged into any legal battle by the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Promising all sorts of legal help to Yousuf to tackle any complication that may arise after the rebel cricket league has sent legal notice to Pakistan's most prolific run scorer, the PCB chief said that even if the ICL opted to move court, Pakistan will strongly defend its player.

''We will fully defend Yousuf, if he is taken to court using all legal means,'' he was quoted by 'The News' adding that the Board's lawyers were confident of winning if any case was filed in the court by the ICL.

Yousuf along with five Pakistani players -- Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Imran Farhat, Inzamam-Ul-Haq -- joined the ICL bandwagon.

The 33-year-old, was one of the biggest stars roped in by the ICL. But, a bit of coaxing by the PCB, which has earlier announced life ban for any Pakistani player joining the league, lured him back with handsome financial rewards.

After scrapping his ICL deal, the right-handed batsman opted to sign a contract with the official Indian Premier League backed by the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India next April.

Earlier this month, ICL sent him a show cause notice and now the organisers are preparing to take him to court amids fears that a legal battle might be in the offing for Yousuf.

''The ICL has no case against Yousuf and they cannot stop him from playing for Pakistan,'' Ashraf said.

''Yousuf did sign a contract with them but later he changed his mind and cancelled it. As a player he had the right to opt for any offer which he thought was better for him,'' added Ashraf.

Outrightly rejecting the impression that the ICL could use any legal ways to stop Yousuf from playing for Pakistan in India later this year, Ashraf said, ''The ICL people are claiming that they will not stop any of their recruits from playing for their country then how can they stop Yousuf from representing Pakistan.''

''The ICL did have a clause in their contract that said that a player cannot give priority to national duty over the ICL but now they say that the clause has been removed and they claim that their players can leave the league to play for their national teams whenever required. I believe in such circumstances they have no justification to stop Yousuf from playing in India,'' he added.


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