The Pakistan Cricket Board has issued instructions to its players, stipulating that all their agents will have to be approved by the board, failing which the player will be ineligible for selection. The deadline for completing this process is September 30.

"No Pakistan cricketer, who is selected for any squad for local and international teams, will be allowed to engage any agent/manager without the prior written approval of the PCB," the board said in a release. "Failure to comply with these instructions will result in the player being declared ineligible for selection in any of the domestic and international cricketing events under the control of PCB."

According to the board's instructions, all agents wishing to represent players will have to submit a written application to the PCB furnishing details such as the names of players they want to represent, terms of the contracts and background data. The PCB will then forward the information to the high commissioner of Pakistan in the country to which the agent belongs for verification and approval. In case of Pakistani agents, the country's law enforcement agency will be responsible for verification.

The move comes in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal that broke during the Lord's Test, after the tabloid News of the World released details of a sting operation on Mazhar Majeed, an agent for Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer. The Pakistan trio were provisionally suspended by the ICC last Thursday and were quizzed by police the next day for their alleged role in bowling deliberate no-balls at Lord's. The undercover operation by the tabloid apparently revealed that they had done so at the behest of Majeed, who was arrested but released on bail, while the players had their mobile phones confiscated. No charges have been pressed against them yet.

Butt, Asif and Amir are set to return to Pakistan, according to Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik. It does not, however, mean that they are cleared from the ongoing criminal investigation: the government of Pakistan, Malik said, will provide a written assurance that the players be made available if needed for further investigations.