Some good news at last for Pakistan
The probity of the recent one-day series between South Africa and Pakistan may have been called into question in the wake of Zulqarnain Haider’s flight to England, but at least the ICC has some good news to report from the series that took place just down the road from the governing body’s headquarters in Dubai. Mohammad Yousuf has been cleared of any wrongdoing after wearing a borrowed shirt for the series decider.
According to an ICC press release, Yousuf was found not guilty of a violation of “clause 2.1.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players, as read with Section C6 of the Clothing and Equipment Rules and Regulations which deal with appropriate and professional standards of appearance on the field on play.” His alleged crime? Writing his name on the back of the shirt with a marker pen.
In a glorious triumph for common sense, Yousuf – who had pleaded not guilty to the offence – was exonerated by the match referee, Andy Pycroft, on the not-unreasonable grounds that he had only just arrived in the country for next week’s Test series and therefore hadn’t been scheduled to play in the one-dayers.
“In making my decision, I took into account that Yousuf was required by the management representing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to wear the offending shirt as he had arrived in Dubai for the Test series and not for the ODIs,” said Pycroft. “As such, he didn’t bring with him any coloured clothing. The matter should now be referred by the ICC to the PCB pursuant to the relevant section of the Clothing and Equipment Rules and Regulations.”
The reasoning was faultless, but the timing, on the day that match-fixing once again became the hottest topic in the world game, was unfortunate. Surely the ICC has more important issues with which to contend?
Andrew Miller is the former UK editor of ESPNcricinfo and now editor of The Cricketer magazine