Ethics and morality February 16, 2009

The curious case of Mohammad Yousuf

Why should players be unable to hold ICL contracts and play international cricket
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The Pakistan Cricket Board is inquiring again into the circumstances of the forfeited Test at The Oval in 2006. It is an inquiry without a clear purpose. The match is now recorded as a technical defeat but the result is an irrelevance.

Although it was a moment when Pakistan cricket fought its corner in the world of cricket politics, two consequences have caused immeasurable damage. First, the rift between Inzamam-ul Haq and Bob Woolmer became ever wider. Second, the controversy ushered in Naseem Ashraf's disastrous reign as head of Pakistan cricket.

It was also the year that Mohammad Yousuf claimed the record number of Test runs in a year. Yousuf batted beautifully. He was easy on the eye yet his mind was tough. He was unbeatable and unswerving in his commitment to score more runs. The best years of his career were upon us. But the plummeting trajectory of Pakistan cricket has claimed him as a major victim.

Yousuf has done himself few favours. He has harboured a thinly veiled grudge over the cricket board's failure to appoint him as captain. His decision to turn to the ICL was rash and career threatening. And now, it is hard to imagine that his decision to see out his ICL contract is driven by principle rather than self interest.

Nonetheless, Yousuf has just cause for complaint. The purge of religion from Pakistan's team identified him as its most obvious target, and Shoaib Malik failed to bind his senior colleagues--and most notably Yousuf--to his cause. Too quickly, Yousuf moved from being indispensable to being yesterday's man, when his form and ability merited a greater respect and expectation.

The greatest failing, however, is that the Pakistan Cricket Board, like all other international cricket boards, slavishly followed the BCCI's lead in condemning ICL cricketers to a career without recognition or international cricket. Hence, whether Yousuf has arrived at his position through laziness or greed, the central point is valid: Why should players be unable to hold ICL contracts and play international cricket?

If there is an inquiry that the PCB needs to conduct with urgency it is one that questions the legitimacy of the stance of its fellow cricket administrations. Indeed, Pakistan cricket has lost more current international cricketers than any nation to ICL. How long will this abuse of cricketers and their international careers be allowed to continue without a serious challenge? This may not have been Mohammad Yousuf's intention but it should become the cause that reunites Pakistan cricket and gives the new cricket board immediate credibility.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shehzad Ahmed on March 25, 2009, 1:37 GMT

    I am pretty sure it wasn't for money b/c playing for Pakistan, IPL, and County would have brought in more money. The problem was the way he was treated. He was no doubt a world class batsman and the best and senior most player in Pakistani team yet he was surpassed by Younis first for captaincy who declined then Yousuf was announced as Captain and in dramatic reversal Shaoib who was just a freshmen with a modest stats was nominated captain. Just apply it to yourself in real life at your work place and tell me how would you feel when a fresh graduate with a little experience is made your manager?

  • syed kamal shah on March 24, 2009, 20:04 GMT

    he is best player in world, may be next 100 year we not seen like him person in cricket, so plz bring in team,i want look him play, he is cricket simple style legent

  • Zaid_SRI LANKA on February 22, 2009, 15:15 GMT

    its pakistan cricket which gave the fame for mohammed yousuf,if not for pakistan cricket mohammed yousuf woudnt have got a deal from ICL,he is a traitor

  • Muhammad Nauman on February 20, 2009, 19:59 GMT

    Muhammad Yousaf will soon be back as we will soon be watching a sort of merger between icl and ipl as its all about money ansd its just a matter of time when ipl is going to offer icl money which will fill their mouth.... Pcb actually made the mess of yousafs case like many others. pcb has a bad record in handling the players and yousaf was no exception. it all started with appointment of a shoaib malik as captain(the decesion which no body could justify) . yousaf was droped from t20 squad and the attitude of the captain and the pcb towards yousaf was always insulting...yousafs decesion to join ipl was always on in these circumstances and he rightly took the opportunity. with another change in cricket administration yousaf can still walk in to the side with alot of pride.

  • vinov on February 20, 2009, 13:25 GMT

    Any Passionate Cricket Fan likes to see INDIA Vs PAKISTAN Match Where both teams skills match almost which is not now. Now a days whenever there is a re telecast of old india pak match Im seeing it even it may be a highlight package. Longing for that to become live... as for Mohd. Yusuf, Whenever theres an international for pak or for that matter any country the players should represent the country and that IPL and ICL should have reserve and that it should be like domestic cricket. So there should be no alterations in FTP of ICC. This will also lead to other players of lesser known to get oppurtunities and make some money. or make include ICL in BCCI plans and make ICL for retired veterans and IPL for non retired. This wont deny ICL its due as we all like to watch our just retired players, the likes of Warne, Gilly, Waugh, Ganguly, Anil, Lara, Inzi etc., dont you peoples?

  • Chinmay on February 20, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    @faisal: "i think its cricketers right to play anywhere in the world. Playing cricket is a human skill, like other skills (e.g. electerical eng, mechanicall engineer and more) as matter of fact people have been working for different countries regardless of their nationality so my point is why only cricketers are being blamed and banned they are doing their job their is nothing wrong so PCB should resile and get back those player in the teams the is right thing to do."

    Have you ever seen a Mechanical Engineer working for, say Toyota and BMW at the same time? Or an Electronics engineer for Nokia and Sony Ericson? Or a computer engineer for both Microsoft and Google?

    When you play for your country, or a county or IPL, you are, as a professional working for an affiliate of the ICC. When you play for ICL, you are playing for a competitor of the ICC. You can't do this and then cry about how professionals should be able to play where ever they like. Because they cannot not and should not.

  • Chinmay on February 20, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    @Angi "So, what do you propose they do? Monopolise cricket? Make sure that any cricket match played anywhere in India has the 'stamp' of the BCCI? "

    In case you haven't noticed, Sports IS a monopoly everywhere. ECB has monopoly over cricket in England, CA in Australia PCB in Pakistan, so, BCCI shouldn't have monopoly in India? Why not?

    All the money ICL gets goes into the coffers of TV tychoon. BCCI reinvests most of the money back into Indian cricket (you should see cricket facilities in India after 2011 world cup). I'd rather keep the money within Indian cricket.

    Monopoly applies to all the sports, btw. The FA for example, has monopoly over English football (it has a veto over any decision by the Premier League)

    Besides, you will find, that in no profession will any organisation actively encourage competition for itself. Expecting BCCI to do so borders on craziness.

  • Terrence on February 18, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    It is not all doom and gloom yet as far as Pakistan is concerned. Remember last time they met, Pakistan beat India convincingly in ODI.

  • Hussain Khan on February 18, 2009, 10:00 GMT

    Whether M Yusuf harboured any grudge or not is immaterial. PCB should have handled him better to prevent him moving to ICL. Again its the incompetence of PCB and their lack of people managing skills. What can you expect from the current management comprising of former cricketers who may have been good players during their time but do not have the skills to manage a large organisation. PCB will get nowhere with the current people some of whom are so volatile that they are unable to work together as a coherent team.

  • Sad Pakistani on February 18, 2009, 9:00 GMT

    I could not believe the comments that M. Yousuf made about honoring his 3-year contract with ICL. It was ok to break contract with PCB but he can't even think about breaking his 3-year (& very lucrative, I'm sure) contract with ICL. And how could he possibly not know that playing ICL would mean not being able to play for your country.

    His comments certainly wreak of the grudge he holds against PCB. You can be upset at your team and hold different views; however, teamwork by definition demands that you stick to what your team/captain says or does.

    PCB has got to stop harboring hopes of getting back players who have no sense of national prode and responsibility like Shoaib Akhtar, M. Asif, M. Yousuf. Move forward PCB, for heaven's sake!

  • Shehzad Ahmed on March 25, 2009, 1:37 GMT

    I am pretty sure it wasn't for money b/c playing for Pakistan, IPL, and County would have brought in more money. The problem was the way he was treated. He was no doubt a world class batsman and the best and senior most player in Pakistani team yet he was surpassed by Younis first for captaincy who declined then Yousuf was announced as Captain and in dramatic reversal Shaoib who was just a freshmen with a modest stats was nominated captain. Just apply it to yourself in real life at your work place and tell me how would you feel when a fresh graduate with a little experience is made your manager?

  • syed kamal shah on March 24, 2009, 20:04 GMT

    he is best player in world, may be next 100 year we not seen like him person in cricket, so plz bring in team,i want look him play, he is cricket simple style legent

  • Zaid_SRI LANKA on February 22, 2009, 15:15 GMT

    its pakistan cricket which gave the fame for mohammed yousuf,if not for pakistan cricket mohammed yousuf woudnt have got a deal from ICL,he is a traitor

  • Muhammad Nauman on February 20, 2009, 19:59 GMT

    Muhammad Yousaf will soon be back as we will soon be watching a sort of merger between icl and ipl as its all about money ansd its just a matter of time when ipl is going to offer icl money which will fill their mouth.... Pcb actually made the mess of yousafs case like many others. pcb has a bad record in handling the players and yousaf was no exception. it all started with appointment of a shoaib malik as captain(the decesion which no body could justify) . yousaf was droped from t20 squad and the attitude of the captain and the pcb towards yousaf was always insulting...yousafs decesion to join ipl was always on in these circumstances and he rightly took the opportunity. with another change in cricket administration yousaf can still walk in to the side with alot of pride.

  • vinov on February 20, 2009, 13:25 GMT

    Any Passionate Cricket Fan likes to see INDIA Vs PAKISTAN Match Where both teams skills match almost which is not now. Now a days whenever there is a re telecast of old india pak match Im seeing it even it may be a highlight package. Longing for that to become live... as for Mohd. Yusuf, Whenever theres an international for pak or for that matter any country the players should represent the country and that IPL and ICL should have reserve and that it should be like domestic cricket. So there should be no alterations in FTP of ICC. This will also lead to other players of lesser known to get oppurtunities and make some money. or make include ICL in BCCI plans and make ICL for retired veterans and IPL for non retired. This wont deny ICL its due as we all like to watch our just retired players, the likes of Warne, Gilly, Waugh, Ganguly, Anil, Lara, Inzi etc., dont you peoples?

  • Chinmay on February 20, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    @faisal: "i think its cricketers right to play anywhere in the world. Playing cricket is a human skill, like other skills (e.g. electerical eng, mechanicall engineer and more) as matter of fact people have been working for different countries regardless of their nationality so my point is why only cricketers are being blamed and banned they are doing their job their is nothing wrong so PCB should resile and get back those player in the teams the is right thing to do."

    Have you ever seen a Mechanical Engineer working for, say Toyota and BMW at the same time? Or an Electronics engineer for Nokia and Sony Ericson? Or a computer engineer for both Microsoft and Google?

    When you play for your country, or a county or IPL, you are, as a professional working for an affiliate of the ICC. When you play for ICL, you are playing for a competitor of the ICC. You can't do this and then cry about how professionals should be able to play where ever they like. Because they cannot not and should not.

  • Chinmay on February 20, 2009, 11:36 GMT

    @Angi "So, what do you propose they do? Monopolise cricket? Make sure that any cricket match played anywhere in India has the 'stamp' of the BCCI? "

    In case you haven't noticed, Sports IS a monopoly everywhere. ECB has monopoly over cricket in England, CA in Australia PCB in Pakistan, so, BCCI shouldn't have monopoly in India? Why not?

    All the money ICL gets goes into the coffers of TV tychoon. BCCI reinvests most of the money back into Indian cricket (you should see cricket facilities in India after 2011 world cup). I'd rather keep the money within Indian cricket.

    Monopoly applies to all the sports, btw. The FA for example, has monopoly over English football (it has a veto over any decision by the Premier League)

    Besides, you will find, that in no profession will any organisation actively encourage competition for itself. Expecting BCCI to do so borders on craziness.

  • Terrence on February 18, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    It is not all doom and gloom yet as far as Pakistan is concerned. Remember last time they met, Pakistan beat India convincingly in ODI.

  • Hussain Khan on February 18, 2009, 10:00 GMT

    Whether M Yusuf harboured any grudge or not is immaterial. PCB should have handled him better to prevent him moving to ICL. Again its the incompetence of PCB and their lack of people managing skills. What can you expect from the current management comprising of former cricketers who may have been good players during their time but do not have the skills to manage a large organisation. PCB will get nowhere with the current people some of whom are so volatile that they are unable to work together as a coherent team.

  • Sad Pakistani on February 18, 2009, 9:00 GMT

    I could not believe the comments that M. Yousuf made about honoring his 3-year contract with ICL. It was ok to break contract with PCB but he can't even think about breaking his 3-year (& very lucrative, I'm sure) contract with ICL. And how could he possibly not know that playing ICL would mean not being able to play for your country.

    His comments certainly wreak of the grudge he holds against PCB. You can be upset at your team and hold different views; however, teamwork by definition demands that you stick to what your team/captain says or does.

    PCB has got to stop harboring hopes of getting back players who have no sense of national prode and responsibility like Shoaib Akhtar, M. Asif, M. Yousuf. Move forward PCB, for heaven's sake!

  • Ranveer Sahota on February 18, 2009, 8:02 GMT

    During my teen years, I use to envy the Pakistan Cricket team. Every other match they would humiliate the Indian team. Those Sharjah Fridays, Umpire Shakoor Rana's questionable lbw's, Miandad's last ball six off Chetan Sharma, Akram's yorkers and endless debate in college comparing Kapildev and Imran Khan's leadership qualities always reminded me of Pakistani players superior Cricketing Skills. Post Kapil Indian team was even more hopeless as Mohd Azharudin & co. disappointed as well. In came Ganguly and the team reversed the decade long trend of getting beaten by Pakistan so often. The point is-apart from being quite happy at Indian team's progress, I am also extremely disappointed with pakistan's descent in Cricket. An Indo-Pak match now-a-days does not provide enough spark for me (and for countless others). OZs and Proteas have filled that vaccume. A die hard Indian fan, but would love to see a strong Pakistani team in the greater interest of the game and the rivalry. Over to PCB !

  • faisal on February 17, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    i think its cricketers right to play anywhere in the world. Playing cricket is a human skill, like other skills (e.g. electerical eng, mechanicall engineer and more) as matter of fact people have been working for different countries regardless of their nationality so my point is why only cricketers are being blamed and banned they are doing their job their is nothing wrong so PCB should resile and get back those player in the teams the is right thing to do.

  • Theeelnaa Kumudu from colombo on February 17, 2009, 10:09 GMT

    The short Pakistani history proves that people like to twist fact for their convenience and do not call spade a spade. Now that the teams is weak as players are in going to ICL, you will blame the world , BCCI and whomsoever but wont bother to do some soul searching and arrive at facts. The fact is Mohd Yususf thinks he is bigger than the game and by playing in ICL and not getting public support and appealing against ban ,he is just proving it right. He chose money over country because even after he changed his religion he was still not made captain. Which brings us to second fact. If PCB had paid him enough like IPL bosess ,he would have stayed in Pakistani team. He may have been singing a patriotic tune for sake of media but if he was paid well he would have never gone to ICL. Mohd Yusuf is ma manipulator who has shown no signs of loyalty neither to country nor ICL nor his religion. Great person & player indeed. Above words may find critics but deep inside their heart they know truth

  • REDNECK on February 17, 2009, 1:00 GMT

    waterbuffalo i agree with what your saying in regards to the meeting in joberg (nothng will come out of it) but pakistan CAN do something by selecting it's icl players as they are required! so what if it makes the bcci mad, what are they going to do???? cancel their tour of pakistan, oh thats right they already have! pakistan have nothing to lose, this is the pcb's perfect chance to shake of its reputation as the bcci whipping boy and become a leader in world cricket by being the first nation to select its icl players in its national team! why accommodate the bcci ban when they do nothing but weaken a pakistan team that could be up there with australia, india & south africa!

  • faisal on February 16, 2009, 23:13 GMT

    First of all i think its cricketers right to play anywhere in the world like any other profashion. people are getting degres and other profesional things from one country and goin somewhere else to get a job or to earn i think that's the basic right for everyone in the world, if a country/person give anybody a job anywhere in the world regardless of their nationalty they have right to get that and their are several examples so i think PCB should act wisly and get those player back in team that is the only right way to go.

  • Amyn Habib on February 16, 2009, 21:57 GMT

    Yousuf is the only world class batsman Pakistan has. Instead of nurturing and promoting his talent, the PCB has tried really hard to insult him and get rid of him. Firstly, as Amit has pointed out earlier, it is unclear why he was not appointed Captain? Is there some kind of discrimination here? Does his beard make people uncomfortable? Surely, he was (and is) the team's most accomplished and experienced player after Inzamam left. However, everybody, including the PCB, expert commentators and many fans seemed to quickly form a consensus that he would not be a good captain. Based on what? Then, they dropped him for T20. Although being a true batsman, his style is not ideal for T20, he is still a good enough batsman to be more effective than the losers chronically populating this team. If the PCB cares about the success of the team, it should reverse the ICL ban and let him play for Pakistan.

  • QASIM on February 16, 2009, 20:15 GMT

    IS IT NOT TIME FOR PAKISTANIS TO LOOK AT THEMSELVES IN THE MIRROR. LETS BE HONEST THE ONLY NATIONAL SIDE TO LOSE OUT TO THE ICL IS THE PAKISTAN TEAM, MOHAMMED YOUSAF,ABDUL RAZAK,SAMI, INZI,ETC ETC. THESE PLAYERS HAVE PUT MONEY BEFORE THERE COUNTRY.CAN YOU THINK OF ANY OTHER PLAYERS FROM OTHER COUNRIES WHO HAVE DONE THIS, I CANT. WE PROBABLY HAVE SOME OF THE MOST TALENTED PLAYERS IN THE WORLD BUT THEY HAVE NO NATIONAL PRIDE,AND ITS NOT JUST CRICKETERS, UNTIL WE CHANGE OUR CULTURE OF GREED THINGS WILL CONTINUE TO GET WORSE FOR US AS A NATION AND FOR OUR CRICKET TEAM.

  • Tashfeen Qayyum on February 16, 2009, 19:46 GMT

    I agree with Voyager. This case has more similarities to the Kerry Packer World Series. That is how One day cricket evolved. Younger generation may not even know about it. ICL started first and IPL started just to spite ICL. BCCI missed out but used its official clout to launch the IPL. Too much T20 will cricket. There should be one league and it is BCCI, who should sort it out. Regarding Mohd Yousef, I am with him. He came backand played for Pakistan and the PCB did not do anuthing to help and protect him. Any sportsman has a limited number of years as most of them are uneducated so there is little they can do afterwards, they have to make hay while the sun shines. It has no comparison to be a traitor or not. This is life, no one can live and survive on emotions. PCB is lame. As Pakistanis we have always been followers and reactionairees, we do not think for ourselves, we just follow or react. That is shameful and we as a nation should get of this be it sport or politics or real life.

  • MA on February 16, 2009, 18:00 GMT

    Yousuf had a binding central contract with the PCB (for which he was paid very handsomely)when he ventured to the ICL - he clearly went against the contract that he had with the PCB in doing so - he deserves to be banned and excluded from the team as a result. Whether ICL players should be allowed to play for their country or not is another issue - even if philosophically Yousuf has a better argument, he cant just take matters into his own hands and be able to get away with it after signing a binding central contract. Also, a bigger issue is availability for Pakistan international matches, while Yousuf says he would be available for Pakistan should there be a clash with ICL schedule, the reality is that the day he was announced to be in the squad to tour WI in Abu Dhabi, he was in India getting ready to play for his ICL team at the expense of international commitment. He deserves no sympathy.

  • Sheraz Ahmad on February 16, 2009, 17:47 GMT

    MOHAMMAD YOUSAF has been treated appallingly by the PCB. He is one of the greats of Pakistani cricket but was not given the respect he deserved. This all sorry episode started when he was left out of the team for the 20/20 WC. Rather than diplomatically say that he was left out so that we could preserve him for Test cricket, the PCB publically stated that the reason was because of his fitness and poor fielding. How can you embarrass a national treasure like that and not expect him not to be aggrieved. All of Pakistan's issues are down to the incompetence of the PCB nothing else. They cannot help washing their dirty linen in public

  • Anand on February 16, 2009, 17:45 GMT

    Its shame that money rules and rules so badly. When Arjuna Ranatunga asked players to tour england over IPL no one was ready. How will england perform when its star / best players would have spent themselves playing for 1$.55 Million. BCCI should show respect to people who originated this concept ICL. All the moolah they are making it due to ICL. If KP & Flinotf can play in IPL so can Yusuf and Shane Bond for ICL. What's wrong with that? But they should play for their country irrespective of which clubs they play for.

    ICC is similar to UN & BCCI is like US. Guess it makes good anology.

  • Baseer on February 16, 2009, 17:24 GMT

    The question is that why this much injustice to a player who still wants to play 4 his country which he never denied. Why he signed the banned league? What a cricketer at this level should have done when he is not being appointed by own country he should have to play to maintain his performance and also his monetry.

  • Faisal Ceasar on February 16, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    Analizing Pakistan cricket is time wasting these days.No matter how much you write and shout the PCB remains in the same platform as it was in the past.If anyone wants to destroy their assests one can learn it from the PCB.The issue of ICL players will never be solved by the cricketing bosses of the PCB.Simply because they lacks the proper cricketing brains and problem solving qualities.Pakistan cricket for the last 2 years is in the news only for non-cricketing issues.The cricket is almost a shadow of the past.Atleast their infights and quarrels still keeps them in the headlines.Really sad for a diehard Pakistani fan like me and millions of others.

  • Angi on February 16, 2009, 17:00 GMT

    "BCCI's challenge to ICL is valid. It is basically a rival body to BCCI. Why on earth should BCCI not try to suppress a competition to itself in it's own backyard?"

    So, what do you propose they do? Monopolise cricket? Make sure that any cricket match played anywhere in India has the 'stamp' of the BCCI?

    By your logic, it is the BCCI who should only be entitled to make profit on cricket in India, is it not so? Pray tell me, who has given them this right anyway? Is cricket a copyright or a patent?

    It's all within the legal framework. If BCCI seriously is trying to 'protect' cricket by banning ICL, then we're all demented...

  • waterbuffalo on February 16, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    To David Furrows-Sir, I have very little faith that anything concrete and positive will emerge from the meeting in JoBurg. Nothing has happened before, why should this time be any different? The ICC only listens to Boards that command a position of strength, all the BCCI has to say is 'we don't want to talk about it right now' and the ICC will acquiesce, the IPL is their baby and the ICL an illegimate son , who do you think will win the argument and amass the inheritance? The PCB cannot do anything but sip tea and eat free sandwiches to their gut's content, they won't lift a finger to help Yousuf or Pakistan. When Pakistan loses 2-0 they will ask for Younis' resignation and the same old merry go round will start up again. Indians can defend the BCCI and the IPL all they want, but very soon, the most hated team in cricket will not be Australia, but India, and for very good reason.

  • Amit on February 16, 2009, 15:24 GMT

    Question to anyone who cares to answer this: Why was Mohd. Yousuf never appointed as captain of Pakistan for any length of time?

  • CRICKETEXPERT on February 16, 2009, 14:42 GMT

    Hassan, in case you have still not realised, BCCI is also against the ICL and also perhaps you should consider the fact that the way Muhammad Yousuf was treated by PCB then not only him but anyone else would have done the same thing. Therefore please stop making pathetic baseless comments about such a good player like him. He is better than most (if not all) batsmen in Pak team and also Pakistan would have made more than 75 all out against Sri Lanka the other day if he was still in the team

  • voyager on February 16, 2009, 14:42 GMT

    Mr. Swami, Rebel tours to SA and ICL are very different, SA was case of apartheid. You can however, compare ICL to Kerry Packer in which case the negotiated settlement was quickly reached atleast for foreign players representing their countries, Pakistan cricketers for example missed only 8 months of Pakistan's test matches and were accepted back. If BCCI sit down with ICL on the table I don't see why not it can be part of regular calender, you may even get a grand championship b/w the two leagues. It will be only good for India and cricket. I say eventually it should be expanded with franchises from Pakistan, Sri lanka and Bangladesh

  • Baseer on February 16, 2009, 14:39 GMT

    He is ofcourse among the best players of Pakistan upto date and if PCB does not try to get him back it will be a setback for Not only Pakistan Cricket but also cricket fans in Pakistan.

  • David on February 16, 2009, 14:18 GMT

    @Swami, those who played in the rebel tours to SA were not banned because it was "unauthorised cricket", but because they were breaking international trade and sporting sanctions in place against the apartheid regime. Cricket was part of the weaponry in an issue of international politics. There is NO COMPARISON AT ALL with the ICL/IPL issue. ICL/IPL is an Indian domestic cricketing issue which has nothing to do with international politics, and should never influence selection decisions by non-Indian nations. If the issue can't be resolved to the ICL's satisfaction, then it will get resolved in the courts, starting with England.

  • bala on February 16, 2009, 14:14 GMT

    While it could be fair to say that BCCI is the cause for few problems international cricketers face today,it is totally unfair to suggest, as some of you seem to,that BCCI is planning to sabotage or is conspiring against Pakistan cricket.The rules put by BCCI for Yousuf is the same for any other cricketer.He happens to be a Pakistani that is all.Besides the same slapping of sporting ties happened during Kargil war and no issues were raised then.The two countries played each other to death after normalization of relations.The Asian country cricket boards had always stuck to one another in challenging the might of the ICC over numerous issues in the past.India toured Pakistan several times even when few countries were apprehensive to tour.The cricketing ties will return to normal once 26/11 is worked out by the two governments. The reason Pakistan are not playing enough cricket is not the BCCI.

  • ravi on February 16, 2009, 14:01 GMT

    It seems most of the people are getting it wrong, regarding the ban for participating in ICL. Certainly Australia, England & South Africa do not need to follow BCCI dictum. And the very reason these cricket boards banned the ICL players are in their interest rather than follow BCCI advise. If ICL is allowed to run and succeds, similar leagues will be organised in these countries with out the consent & participation of the respective cricket authorities. This will more certainly happen in pakistan by creating a karachi team apart from lahore team and bringing in 2 - 3 indian & srilankan teams. This will sink PCB more in to the doldrums, which is why PCB has banned ICL cricketers and not to please BCCI.

  • deewana on February 16, 2009, 12:52 GMT

    I respected MOHAMMAD YOUSAF more than any other member of pak team, as was a fine player and a devout muslim.however after quitting national team and joining ICL, i was not even surprised but ashamed of his action.Inzamam and other players might have gone to ICL to earn money as their international career was almost over or they were not selected for under-performing. so it did make sense for them going to ICL. But how Mohammad Yousaf, who was the best and senior player along with Younis Khan, leave national team and join a rebel indian league just for money. no doubt he is a great player but he should not forget that whatever he has achieved today is because of national team. players nowdays make so much money, i would be surprised to see Rahul dravid, Gangauly or Anil kumble playing in a pakistani rebel league. why are the pakistani players always considering money first rather than their nation??God bless pakistan and pakistan cricket

  • toqir on February 16, 2009, 12:49 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has suffered immensely due to the fact players have gone to the ICL. Not having international cricket has meant that players such as Yousaf need to earn their living via the ICL. It amazes me that the ICL players can be banned by national cricket boards, simply because they want to tow the line with the BCCI. National boards should basically say enough is enough and allow ICL players to play domestic and international cricket. The BCCI should not be allowed to control what other boards do. The general public are being deprived of watching the likes of Yousaf in their prime. I for one miss him playing in the Pakistan side. 2006 was a marvellous year for Yousaf.

  • irfan on February 16, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    The icc has left pakistan to rot. by never supporting them, giving them no fixtures etc etc. The pakistan board should be brave and do whats best for them and not what others want. cause the rest of the cricket world has left them alone. bring back the icl players and start winning again!!

  • Chinmay on February 16, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    BCCI's challenge to ICL is valid. It is basically a rival body to BCCI. Why on earth should BCCI not try to suppress a competition to itself in it's own backyard?

    Bear in mind, that ICL is a private league owned completely by Zee TV. If ICL is allowed to flourish, there might be more such leagues out there in every country. It would be the death of international cricket as we know it.

    IPL on the other hand, is different because it is controled by BCCI. T20 has the potential to destroy International cricket in the short term if it is not handled correctly -- which is what BCCI hass done by starting the IPL to counter ICL.

  • ADEEL on February 16, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    we pakistanis dont know how to honour our heroes .its a pity that a batsman of his class is begging the president to undo his ban

  • Ishfaq on February 16, 2009, 11:42 GMT

    I can not see any reason that why current PCB administration is so lazy in front of ICC and BCCI. I can not see any difference between IPL and ICL so if IPL players can play internationla cricket then what is wrong with ICL players? It seems that Its internal politics in Indian cricket which is causing many troubles for Pakistan cricket. Sometime It seems that its policy of BCCI to kick Pakistan out of international cricket. I am wondering that If there is ban on ICL players then they should ban the people as well that whoever watched ICL cricket would not be allow to watch international cricket. I think it then make sense. I would request the Internation cricket authorities to sort this matter out as Pakistan is the most effected country by this rivalery because many of ICL player can still represent Pakistan such as Razzaq, Yousaf, Imran Farhat etc etc.

  • Javed Munir Dar on February 16, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    Mr. Mohammad Yousaf certainly deserve punishment, he himself rejected country over money, so now why he is apologizing to nation, he is a greedy person, he forget what was he about a decade ago, this country has given him every thing, infact what has now billions of people don't even dream of that but sadly his lust of money proves harmless for him

  • Hassan on February 16, 2009, 10:59 GMT

    this thinks he is bigger than the game - however good a player you are - you can not tell the board that they should realise how important you are - he is a sore loser - this is the problem with pakistan cricket they can not take defeat at a professional and personal level.

    he broke the rules - deal with it - traitor an INDIAN cricket league over the national team - should be ashamed of himself

  • FAYAZ on February 16, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    PAKISTAN CRICKET BOARD,ADMINISTRATION AND HIGHER AUTHORATIES SHALL TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION BY RELEASING THESE PLAYERS FROM BANN.THEY MUST GET THESE PLAYERS BACK INTO GAME OTHERWISE PAKISTANI CRICKET MAY REACH AT SLUM WIHTIN SHORT TIME.

  • R Sivasubramaniam on February 16, 2009, 10:49 GMT

    Kamran, thank God that there a few people like you who are prepared to take on the might of the BCCI. In live we have choice, which brand of car we can buy, how to dress. WE have the choice as to what profession to chose. Why should BCCI tell the other countries who can play Internation cricket. They have a right not to chose the ICL players - but why are the others 'kowtowing' to them - the reason Kamran is MONEY. PCB should pick the best available players, regardless of what league they play for in India but I don't forsee that happening in the mear future. Siva from Singapore

  • Saud Sami on February 16, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    I agree 100%. Mohammad yousuf should also push the issue by challenging his ban in Pakistani courts.

  • David Furrows on February 16, 2009, 10:24 GMT

    An argument can be made that players with central contracts should only be allowed to play ICL if the Board approves - as was the case with Shane Bond, only for the Board to renege.

    But there can be no legal or moral justification for not selecting on a match-by-match basis players who do not have a central contract, and who choose to use their rights of free labour to work for the ICL in their own time.

    More to the point, the excellent performances of Abdul Razzaq and Naved-ul-Hasan upon their return to doemstic cricket, plus the class of Mohammad Yousuf, would be the difference between Pakistan being a second rate Test team or the equals of India, Australia and South Africa.

    Let's hope that the meeting next Saturday in Johannesburg sees the ICL take up the IPL's offer of an IPL franchaise plus a Masters tournament, and the ban (which the ICC disowns) on ICL players dropped immediately.

  • Jahangir on February 16, 2009, 10:19 GMT

    I agree! We always seem to concentrate on the mundane & forget material issues affecting our cricket ie our ability to develop, sustain & nuture the game of cricket in Pakistan. You should really bring this to the attention of the PCB. Why are we subjecting our cricketers to a ban for the personal & financial gain of the BCCI. They have been callous with our cricketers in the past 3-4 mths, cancelling tours & waggering suspensions on participation. Surely it is time that we look to put a stop to this monopolisation of cricket. All I see now adays is self promotion of India, its team (now "team India":P *lame*)etc its deplorable that we have played so little cricket & the ICC has stood by & done nothing. I know money corrupts but this is straight out malicous. 2009 has already seen the world purging itself of its previous transgressors who profiteered from its ignornance I think the time has come for cricket admin's, starting with the PCB, to round up & dispose of Lalit Modi & Co.

  • Swami on February 16, 2009, 9:43 GMT

    There you go again. Unauthorised competion is not just a BCCI issue, but also an ICC issue. Players from England, Australia have been banned for participating in rebel tours to South Africa because they were unauthorised tournaments. ICL is no different. So, whats next .. are you going to argue that ICL needs to be considered in FTP in the coming years ?

  • Vikas on February 16, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    October 5, 2008 "Debate for the future 1: Big Brother lend a dime" "....Nonetheless, India has helped Pakistan through various crises since the Darrell Hair incident, with the most recent being its resistance to the Champions Trophy being moved from Pakistan. This was shortly after India helped ensure that the Asia Cup was held in Pakistan....." it ends with... "...but for now Pakistan cricket is lucky to have India on its side..."

    February 16, 2009 "The curious case of Mohammad Yousuf" "...The greatest failing, however, is that the Pakistan Cricket Board, like all other international cricket boards, slavishly followed the BCCI's lead ....."

    What have you been smoking, my dear?

    Did you ever believe the PCB and BCCI were 'friends' (Pakistan loves this word)? BCCI was 'helping' Pakistan in return for support. They were never 'equals'. This may hurt, but it is a fact.

    There is a limit on the length of the post. More on your ICL hypocrisy in the next post.

  • Ramesh on February 16, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    You have hit the nail on the head. Yousuf was one of the few real world class players from Pakistan; his ability to play late, with a minimum of fuss was a real revelation to connoisseurs. That has now gone, probably for ever! Why doesn't the ICL hire the best lawyers to defend the right of its players to play anywhere. This restriction will not stand in any court of law. Someone surely needs to advise these players - they can sue the PCB out of business

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  • Ramesh on February 16, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    You have hit the nail on the head. Yousuf was one of the few real world class players from Pakistan; his ability to play late, with a minimum of fuss was a real revelation to connoisseurs. That has now gone, probably for ever! Why doesn't the ICL hire the best lawyers to defend the right of its players to play anywhere. This restriction will not stand in any court of law. Someone surely needs to advise these players - they can sue the PCB out of business

  • Vikas on February 16, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    October 5, 2008 "Debate for the future 1: Big Brother lend a dime" "....Nonetheless, India has helped Pakistan through various crises since the Darrell Hair incident, with the most recent being its resistance to the Champions Trophy being moved from Pakistan. This was shortly after India helped ensure that the Asia Cup was held in Pakistan....." it ends with... "...but for now Pakistan cricket is lucky to have India on its side..."

    February 16, 2009 "The curious case of Mohammad Yousuf" "...The greatest failing, however, is that the Pakistan Cricket Board, like all other international cricket boards, slavishly followed the BCCI's lead ....."

    What have you been smoking, my dear?

    Did you ever believe the PCB and BCCI were 'friends' (Pakistan loves this word)? BCCI was 'helping' Pakistan in return for support. They were never 'equals'. This may hurt, but it is a fact.

    There is a limit on the length of the post. More on your ICL hypocrisy in the next post.

  • Swami on February 16, 2009, 9:43 GMT

    There you go again. Unauthorised competion is not just a BCCI issue, but also an ICC issue. Players from England, Australia have been banned for participating in rebel tours to South Africa because they were unauthorised tournaments. ICL is no different. So, whats next .. are you going to argue that ICL needs to be considered in FTP in the coming years ?

  • Jahangir on February 16, 2009, 10:19 GMT

    I agree! We always seem to concentrate on the mundane & forget material issues affecting our cricket ie our ability to develop, sustain & nuture the game of cricket in Pakistan. You should really bring this to the attention of the PCB. Why are we subjecting our cricketers to a ban for the personal & financial gain of the BCCI. They have been callous with our cricketers in the past 3-4 mths, cancelling tours & waggering suspensions on participation. Surely it is time that we look to put a stop to this monopolisation of cricket. All I see now adays is self promotion of India, its team (now "team India":P *lame*)etc its deplorable that we have played so little cricket & the ICC has stood by & done nothing. I know money corrupts but this is straight out malicous. 2009 has already seen the world purging itself of its previous transgressors who profiteered from its ignornance I think the time has come for cricket admin's, starting with the PCB, to round up & dispose of Lalit Modi & Co.

  • David Furrows on February 16, 2009, 10:24 GMT

    An argument can be made that players with central contracts should only be allowed to play ICL if the Board approves - as was the case with Shane Bond, only for the Board to renege.

    But there can be no legal or moral justification for not selecting on a match-by-match basis players who do not have a central contract, and who choose to use their rights of free labour to work for the ICL in their own time.

    More to the point, the excellent performances of Abdul Razzaq and Naved-ul-Hasan upon their return to doemstic cricket, plus the class of Mohammad Yousuf, would be the difference between Pakistan being a second rate Test team or the equals of India, Australia and South Africa.

    Let's hope that the meeting next Saturday in Johannesburg sees the ICL take up the IPL's offer of an IPL franchaise plus a Masters tournament, and the ban (which the ICC disowns) on ICL players dropped immediately.

  • Saud Sami on February 16, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    I agree 100%. Mohammad yousuf should also push the issue by challenging his ban in Pakistani courts.

  • R Sivasubramaniam on February 16, 2009, 10:49 GMT

    Kamran, thank God that there a few people like you who are prepared to take on the might of the BCCI. In live we have choice, which brand of car we can buy, how to dress. WE have the choice as to what profession to chose. Why should BCCI tell the other countries who can play Internation cricket. They have a right not to chose the ICL players - but why are the others 'kowtowing' to them - the reason Kamran is MONEY. PCB should pick the best available players, regardless of what league they play for in India but I don't forsee that happening in the mear future. Siva from Singapore

  • FAYAZ on February 16, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    PAKISTAN CRICKET BOARD,ADMINISTRATION AND HIGHER AUTHORATIES SHALL TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION BY RELEASING THESE PLAYERS FROM BANN.THEY MUST GET THESE PLAYERS BACK INTO GAME OTHERWISE PAKISTANI CRICKET MAY REACH AT SLUM WIHTIN SHORT TIME.

  • Hassan on February 16, 2009, 10:59 GMT

    this thinks he is bigger than the game - however good a player you are - you can not tell the board that they should realise how important you are - he is a sore loser - this is the problem with pakistan cricket they can not take defeat at a professional and personal level.

    he broke the rules - deal with it - traitor an INDIAN cricket league over the national team - should be ashamed of himself

  • Javed Munir Dar on February 16, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    Mr. Mohammad Yousaf certainly deserve punishment, he himself rejected country over money, so now why he is apologizing to nation, he is a greedy person, he forget what was he about a decade ago, this country has given him every thing, infact what has now billions of people don't even dream of that but sadly his lust of money proves harmless for him