Indian Cricket League May 30, 2009

Yousuf and Razzaq happy to be back

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan players Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq have expressed their relief at returning to the national team after the Pakistan Cricket Board had accepted their resignation from the unofficial ICL. The PCB had waived the "cooling period" for the duo, meaning that they could return as early as the tour of Sri Lanka which starts in late June.

"It is a great relief to be cleared to play for Pakistan again because I have missed the competition that is available while playing for your country," Yousuf told PTI. "I had given my resignation to the board sometime back and finally the ICL has accepted it."

Yousuf had signed up with the ICL in 2007, quit and rejoined the following year. He also had his differences with the previous PCB administration under Nasim Ashraf and the former captain Shoaib Malik. He represented the Lahore Badshahs along with a number of other Pakistan players for one season in 2008.

Now set for a second stint with the national side, he said he was looking forward to starting off on a clean slate. "What happened in the past is now in the past," he said. "My experience with the ICL was a short one but there is no greater pride then playing for your country."

Razzaq had a longer spell with the ICL, joining the league in 2007 after he was excluded from the World Twenty20 squad the same year. He was one of the key players for the Hyderabad Heroes in their title win in 2008.

"I had resigned from the league sometime back but they gave an NOC recently. But I have always said I wanted to play for Pakistan and it was the board's decision to not allow us to play for the national team."

He also assured that the ICL had no issues with him quitting. "They understand the situation and they never stopped us from playing for our country they looked after us well."