PCB in a fix on questions over Yousuf’s return

Last Updated: Aug 03, 2010, 15:58 PM IST

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board’s legal team is finding it hard to explain senior batsman Muhammad Yousuf’s return to the national team despite the fact that the ban on him for indiscipline has not yet been lifted.

PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi told reporters that Yousuf had been picked for the Pakistan team because he didn’t challenge his ban in March and retired from the international arena.

“Since he didn’t challenge the ban it became permanent after the period of 30-days. And now the Chairman of the board has the authority under the existing constitution to pardon a player directly and lift any penalty imposed on him,” Tafazzul Rizvi said.

He said it was under this clause that Yousuf had been asked to join the touring squad in England.

“With reference to the issue of his announced his retirement in March, Yousuf himself recently made himself available for national selection when he said he was ready to play if Pakistan team needed him,” the lawyer said.

Interestingly Talib Rizvi the legal advisor of the board, who is directly handling the cases of the PCB ban and fines on seven players including Yousuf in March and represented the board in the appellate tribunal hearings, had a different view.

Initially, Talib admitted that Yousuf couldn’t play for Pakistan unless the ban was lifted officially. But then he retracted and tried to explain that Yousuf could play if he had directly contacted the PCB Chairman, Ijaz Butt.

“If Yousuf has spoken to Ejaz Butt and sought pardon then the PCB Chairman can allow him to play for Pakistan again,” he said.

Justice Irfan Qadir, who headed the one-man appellate tribunal that heard the appeals of the players, said he couldn’t comment on Yousuf’s case since the player had never lodged any appeal with him.