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February 17, 2009
A Pakistani court has lifted a domestic ban on the last six active players who joined the ICL, making them eligible to take part in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the domestic first-class competition. In all, 17 players can return to domestic cricket but the ban on their participation in international cricket remains since it is not yet a point of argument in the legal proceedings.
"Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Humayun Farhat, Riaz Afridi, Arshad Khan and Taufeeq Umar got their bans suspended by the court and are now free to play in domestic matches," the players' lawyer, Zahid Ebrahim, said.
Last week, the Sind High Court had temporarily lifted the bans imposed by the PCB on 11 players, nine of whom featured in the latest round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saqlain Mushtaq are the only players who remain barred from domestic cricket, but both are now retired.
The PCB's present administration has been keen on getting back ICL players into the fold but has maintained that it would only be possible if the ICL reaches a compromise with the BCCI and ICL. The ICC deferred a decision on recognizing the ICL at its last board meeting in Perth, but a meeting between the ICL, ICC and BCCI has been arranged on February 21 in Johannesburg.
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