Mushtaq and Naved-ul-Hasan face a summer on the sidelines February 29, 2008

Pakistan bans ICL players from county cricket

Cricinfo staff

Mushtaq Ahmed leads Sussex off after taking 13 wickets in the final match of the 2007 season ... but will it turn out to be his last outing for the county? © Getty Images

Cricinfo has learned that the Pakistan board is set to block any of its players who have signed contracts with the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League from playing domestic cricket overseas.

As things stand, any player who wants to play abroad needs a No Objection Certificate [NOC] from their home board. But a PCB source told Cricinfo that Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who recently signed for Yorkshire, would not be getting an NOC. "This is in line with our policy on the ICL," the source said. "All players who do sign up with it will not represent Pakistan or domestic sides in Pakistan and anyway, Rana was not a contracted player of the board."

Perhaps the most high-profile case is that of Mushtaq Ahmed, who has been instrumental in Sussex's success in the last five seasons and who is due to return to Hove next month. Although he was granted an NOC, he has since signed with the ICL. "We are considering withdrawing his NOC, because when we provided it to him last, it was a month and a half before he signed up with the ICL," the spokesman said.

Sussex have said they are "working with the ECB and the PCB in order to clarify the situation" regarding Mushtaq.

Yorkshire's chief executive Stewart Regan said that the county had given Naved-ul-Hasan an ultimatum - will he take part in the ICL or will he play for Yorkshire? "If Rana takes part in the ICL, he will automatically forfeit his Yorkshire contract. What we don't know is how much Rana is being paid by the ICL, or whether he has signed a legally-binding contract."