The Pakistan Cricket Board has backed out of a potential face-off with the ICC and the BCCI by dropping three ICL players from its list of 30 probables for the ICC World Twenty in June.
In a face-saving measure, the PCB has placed Abdul Razzaq, Imran Nazir and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan on standby pending ICC approval. They have been replaced by Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Jan and Mohammad Hafeez. However, it's understood that the ICC is highly unlikely to grant any such approval when its board meets in Dubai on April 17-18 to decide on the issue.
"We have written a letter to the ICL to get status of their contracts, whether these [contracts] have been rescinded permanently or rescinded temporarily, but we have yet to get any reply on that," said the PCB chief operating officer Salim Altaf.
However, sources told Cricinfo that the ICL trio insisted they would be able to provide only a temporary release from the unauthorised league unless the board provided them with central contracts.
The PCB on Monday officially broke ranks with the Indian board, a traditional ally, by naming the three ICL players without approval from the ICC, the tournament organisers. The 17 ICL-contracted players from Pakistan were allowed to participate in domestic cricket after the Sind High Court temporarily lifted the ban in February.
Wicketkeeper Zulfiqar is the only uncapped player among the three replacements. Ajmal, the offspinner, last played in the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Lahore this January while batsman Mohammad Hafeez hasn't represented his country since October 2007.
Pakistan Squad: Younis Khan (capt), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Khalid Latif, Shahzaib Hasan, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Amin, Misbah-ul-Haq, Faisal Iqbal, Fawad Alam, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Yasir Arafat, Kamran Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Aizaz Cheema, Mohammad Aamer, Wahab Riaz, Imran Ali, Danish Kaneria, Abdul Rehman, Yasir Shah, Kamran Akmal (wk), Sarfraz Ahmed, Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Jan, Mohammad Hafeez
ICL players initially included: Abdul Razzaq, Naved-ul-Hasan, Imran Nazir
ICC World Twenty20