Farhat released from central contract

Imran Farhat has been released from his central contract that he signed earlier this month by the Pakistan Cricket Board upon his request. Farhat was lured away from national commitments by a lucrative Indian Cricket League (ICL) offer prompting him to request a release.

"It's almost done and I am about to sign the deal to play in the India league," Farhat told AFP, adding, "Look what has happened to me in the past six or seven months and I am not comfortable with that. I don't only want a central contract but I want playing opportunities."

Ahsan Malik, PCB's director of communications confirmed Farhat's release. "We have received an application from Imran Farhat in which he has asked us to terminate his central contract," Malik told the News. "It is a player's right to make such a request and we have decided to release him."

Farhat has featured in 27 Tests and 33 ODIs and last played a Test against South Africa in January earlier this year. He was then omitted from the team for the World Cup, Abu Dhabi and Scotland tours while being fined by the board for a show of dissent.

The PCB has already announced life-time bans from national selection for players signing up with ICL. There are also reports that Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq, who have yet to sign their contracts, are close to signing up with the league.

Shafqat Naghmi, PCB's chief operating officer, told Cricinfo that: "Though they [Yousuf and Razzaq] have not been in touch with the board, I want to hear responses from them. The board is willing to wait for their answers as they are both too important as players to be sacrificed for deadlines."

Younis Khan, however, has already informed the board that he needs more time to sign the contract.

"Younis is yet to receive the contract which is why we have extended the deadline for its signing by a few days," Malik said. "We have given the players a few more days to review the contracts before taking a decision on it."

Malik also revealed that Danish Kaneria had recently signed the contract.