ICL recruits fight to play domestic cricket January 5, 2008

Banned cricketers wait on governing body decision

Cricinfo staff

Imran Farhat will fight to save his cricket future © Cricinfo Ltd.

A group of cricketers banned from playing domestic cricket by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for having participated in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) will wait on a board committee's decision before fighting the ban in court.

Imran Farhat, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Taufiq Umar, Shabbir Ahmed and Azhar Mahmood were all banned by the board after they appeared for different teams late last year in the ICL. Of the group, however, Inzamam has retired while Azhar Mahmood is a regular performer in the English county season.

Farhat and Umar are affected immediately, as they would in normal circumstances be appearing for Habib Bank (HBL) in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy final from Monday. "We filed a petition through our lawyer Imran Qureshi in the Lahore High Court to get a stay order against the decision because we wanted to play for HBL.

"But after the judge deferred the decision till Monday, we reconsidered our option of going to court and decided to wait for the governing board's decision," Farhat told Dawn.

"We can now afford to wait for the governing board's decision regarding the matter as we also have enough time before the Pentangular Cup which is scheduled to start next month. Therefore we have advised our lawyer to act accordingly," Farhat added.

The Pakistan board had earlier referred its decision of banning the players to the governing board, which is expected to take up the matter in its next meeting on January 25 in Karachi.