Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed Saturday it had cleared former Test players Rana Naved and Mushtaq Ahmed to play in English county cricket, despite them featuring in an unauthorised Indian league.
Mushtaq will play for Sussex and Naved for Yorkshire after the PCB gave them the go-ahead after initial reluctance following the duo's appearance in the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).
The ICL, bankrolled by country's largest media group last year, is not recognised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or the International Cricket Council.
Shafqat Naghmi, chief operating officer for the PCB, confirmed the move.
"PCB's policy on the ICL players remains the same as it has always been, which is that these players cannot play in any domestic and international event in Pakistan.
"But the board also felt that there is no legal or moral reason in stopping ICL players from featuring in events in any other country. So on this basis, we have responded to the counties for Naved and Mushtaq," Naghmi told AFP.
"We will not stop them from playing in counties because they are no more under PCB's contract and our point of view with the counties is that if you want to play them it's your will."
Naved, who was a big success for Surrey before moving to Headingley for the coming season, said he was relieved at being allowed to play in the English season.
"I have maintained throughout the last few weeks that I would be allowed to play cricket for Yorkshire and that my participation in the ICL would not get in the way," Naved said in a statement released by Yorkshire on Friday.
He added: "I am not contracted to the PCB and could not see why they should wish to prevent me from playing the game I love in Yorkshire.
The PCB last year banned all ICL contracted players -- including former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq -- from featuring in domestic and international events.
Former openers Imran Farhat and Taufiq Umer had threatened to sue the PCB on stopping them from earning their livelihood, but could not start the proceedings as they are currently featuring in the second edition of the ICL.
Naghmi denied the PCB has received any official complaint from the BCCI on allowing Naved and Mushtaq to feature in the English season.
The BCCI, which initiated its own multi-million dollar Indian Premier League to counter the ICL threat, is reportedly lodging a complaint with the England and Wales Cricket Board on clearing Mushtaq and Naved.