Pakistan cricket June 10, 2009

Ex-ICL player Razzaq returns to Pakistan side


The ICC has approved the PCB's request to add Abdul Razzaq to replace one of its two injured players in the ongoing ICC World Twenty20. This makes Razzaq the first former ICL player returning to international cricket after being banned.

Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, had told Cricinfo that a request had been sent to the ICC's technical committee. "He is an allrounder and we've requested he replace Arafat, who is also an allrounder." A source close to the player also confirmed that Razzaq had been contacted by the board and apprised of the situation.

On the same day ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat confirmed the decision. "The PCB has advised the ICC it has imposed a sanction on Abdul Razzaq in accordance with the ICC Board resolution," he said.

While both Yasir Arafat and Sohail Tanvir are carrying injuries, Arafat's hamstring strain seems the more serious and Razzaq represented a like-for-like change in that he is an allrounder.

The Pakistan team manager, Yawar Saeed, said Arafat had been diagnosed with a lateral hamstring tear and would not play any further role in the tournament. News of Tanvir, who played with a back strain in the victory against Netherland yesterday, was better - he was back training with the rest of the squad at The Oval today.

Razzaq was one of several ex-ICL players granted amnesty by the PCB a few weeks back, shortly after the Indian board set the ball rolling for players to come in from the unofficial league. Other boards followed suit; some set a 'cooling off' period in place, while others like the PCB said they would handle each player on a case-by-case basis.

Ironically, Razzaq's name was on the original list of 30 probables the PCB had sent to the ICC in early April - before the BCCI announced the amnesty - but the board u-turned and scratched his name off because the ICC objected to his ICL status. And with more irony, the comeback completes a full circle of sorts for Razzaq: it was only after being overlooked for the 2007 World Twenty20 squad that he decided to turn his back on Pakistan cricket. He lambasted the team's set-up at the time, claiming he had been treated badly and then retired from international cricket, before taking back his announcement.

Pakistan will welcome back Razzaq's skills. He was one of the ICL's most valuable players, leading his franchise Hyderabad Heroes to the title in the first season and a runners-up spot the second time round. His form in the recently-concluded domestic Twenty20 was outstanding as well and limited-overs competitions in England hold special memories. It was in the 1999 World Cup that Razzaq first announced himself as a major talent, picking up a bundle of wickets and scoring some crucial runs, often at one down.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MUHAMMAD on June 13, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    Pakistan team will rock Now as Abdul Razzaq Back in the Internatinal team As we Know that pakistan Lose there First super 8 Match against Srilanka But they have one more Chance to Come back in the tournament

  • zain on June 12, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    i m very happy that razzak is back in pakistan team, now pakistan team has become more strengthing than before..

  • zahid on June 12, 2009, 3:17 GMT

    it is very good for pakistan team that they have included Abdul Razzaq in the squad. he is one of the finest allrounders of the world.similarly they should include imran nazir. he is a perfect player for T20 format.

  • Zubair on June 11, 2009, 19:40 GMT

    I wish that PCB officials read the comments on this forum. It is very good decision. well done PCB. The current chairman is 1000 times better than Nasim Ashraf. Imran Nazir and Rana Naveed will make Pakistan's T20 and ODI teams complete.

  • Samir on June 11, 2009, 19:22 GMT

    Well done i think it's a best moment for Pakistan team and people of Pakistan Now they have chance to win match against srilanka...

  • Sain on June 11, 2009, 19:12 GMT

    Razzaq is back it is a good news but one player cant win it all for PK. Though PK didnt play much Int. cricket but I think they have the talent to upset and surprise. Expecting PK to win the ICC T20 is just not realistic (my opinion). I think the PK coach is Old School and his performance should also be reviewed because when teams fali to perform not players coaches get fired. Though he is the same coach he led PK to world cup victory in 1992 but cricket has a lot changed sicne then. I think it is time for new shcool/professional coach.

  • ABDUL AZIZ on June 11, 2009, 18:49 GMT

    This would be an excellent line up for PAKISTAN in the super 8. Akmal,Afridi,Khan,Misbah, Malik,Razzaq, Alam,Tanvir,Gul,Amir,Ajmal. Afridi at the top of the order cannot be any worse than at position 5 or 6. Pakistan could make use of 8 bowlers too. I am happy Razzaq is back.

  • Rizwan on June 11, 2009, 18:15 GMT

    its one of the best decesioin taken by PCB after a while.Razzaq is really a good hitter of cricket ball especially out of the rope.He's much better than some other players such as shoaib malik.Hope to see him in action against Sri Lanka.

  • Murtaza on June 11, 2009, 17:07 GMT

    But I don't think he'll play the game against the Lankans because of the visa issues

  • ABDUL AZIZ on June 11, 2009, 15:25 GMT

    Fantastic news for Pakistan. Razzaq has always been a team player and i recall his century against south africa batting at the top of the order facing shaun pollock. Younis Khan should forget about the entertainment value of the format and concentrate on providing entertainment for pakistani fans by ensuring his team give their level best. This is what supporters want. You have to play for the love, self respect and honour of your country and nation, because i can assure you that the pakistan cricket team is the most mocked team. Every player should be aware of the humiliation that pakistan fans have gone through with scandals, drugs, match fixing,e.t.c over the last decade. Players have a responsibility to perform at their very best no matter what the competition. Shoaib Malik is much too slow at the top of the order and has to make serious adjustments in the 20/20 format. I have a healthy respect for Pakistan cricket.

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