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Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq has said that the PCB has cleared him to play in the IPL, claiming that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were keen to seek his services for the third edition. The franchise though, has denied any official approach.
PCB officials, in a meeting at the board's headquarters in Lahore, reportedly gave the go-ahead to Razzaq after he had sought permission to play in the league. "It is great news for me and I'm now looking forward to give my best for Knight Riders," Razzaq said.
Razzaq, 29, was banned by the PCB for joining the unofficial ICL 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.
However, with the amnesty offer from the PCB earlier this year, he made his international return during the World Twenty20 in England in June. He was also part of the Pakistan squad that toured Sri Lanka earlier this summer, but was dropped for the Champions Trophy because of a lack of form and fitness.
KKR officials though, clarified that no official approach had been made yet to any foreign ex-ICL player because the IPL was yet to finalise recruitment norms for those players. The IPL organisers said they might hold an auction for foreign ex-ICL players if needed, with the norms expected to be finalised in December.
The inclusion of Razzaq may help turn around KKR's fortunes after two forgettable IPL seasons. They finished sixth in 2007 and on the bottom in the second edition held in South Africa. The franchise has, in the past, hired a number of players from Pakistan, including Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Salman Butt and Mohammad Hafeez.