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Old November 7, 2008, 05:36 AM
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Default Attitude of board and captain led me to ICL - Yousuf

Mohammad Yousuf, the Pakistan batsman, has said his move to the ICL was prompted by the attitude of PCB officials and Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, and that his decision was not swayed by the money on offer.


"Everyone is saying that I have signed [up for] the ICL because of money but the real reason was the attitude of the PCB and Malik, which forced me to join the league," Yousuf told BBC Urdu radio in an interview. "[The] captain never gave me the respect I deserved.


"The PCB must respect the senior players and if they don't, more and more senior players will leave for the ICL," he said. "That has been the case since last year."
Yousuf will play for the Lahore Badshahs in the ICL, alongside Pakistan players such as Inzamam-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mohammad Sami and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan - all of whom, like Yousuf, have been banned by the board for their involvement with the league.


He hit out at comments made by a few former players. Former captain Aamer Sohail said he spoiled his image by "ditching" a country that had given him fame and wealth. "Where were these former Test cricketers when the PCB claimed that there was delay in my visa for the Toronto event?" Yousuf told the Associated Press. "They did not raise any voice and now they are criticising me. I am getting more [money] while representing Pakistan and it's totally wrong to say I joined ICL because of big sums of money.


"There was very little cricket in Pakistan this year and I wanted to keep myself tuned up for the big series against India at home by playing in the ICL."


Yousuf left for India soon after he was named in Pakistan's team for the three ODIs against West Indies in Abu Dhabi, a move that surprised PCB officials. He had signed for the ICL last year after being left out of the squad for the World Twenty20 in South Africa, but was lured back by the board to play for Pakistan. His participation in the recent T20 Canada was halted by visa issues.


Yousuf said he was disappointed on missing out on the Canada tournament: he was named in the squad but visa problems prevented him from playing. "I was told that my visa for Canada was delayed. In fact afterwards I got to know that my visa was applied (for) in a wrong manner and I was left out of the team and no one from the PCB bothered to talk to me," he said. "I am the seniormost player and team's best performer for the last several years but I was left out of the team. They don't want me in the team so why not join a league where I am welcomed?


"I know I still have three to four years of cricket left in me, so I can still play for Pakistan provided I am accepted by the PCB and my team-mates, especially the captain. I have never said that I will prefer ICL over playing for my country. I am even available for the Abu Dhabi series, but it's disappointing that the PCB has suspended me."
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