Imran, Razzaq blame selectors for ouster

August 17, 2007

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LAHORE, Aug 16: All-rounder Abdul Razzaq and opener Imran Farhat have criticised the national selection committee of showing a biased attitude in their cases and have hinted at joining the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in the near future.

Talking to reporters prior to his departure for England to play county cricket, Razzaq said that the selectors dropped him from the Twenty20 World Cup without any solid reason and the board was not treating the senior players well.

“The PCB is creating an uneasy atmosphere for the senior players which is forcing them to quit cricket,” said Razzaq. “If the board continues with the same attitude towards the players, many of them will join the Indian Cricket League.”

Rumours are rife that Razzaq, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Farhat and Azhar Mahmood have already signed agreements with the ICL and more are to follow suit.

Imran Farhat, who officially requested the PCB to release him from the players’ central contract on Wednesday, told Dawn that he took the decision because he believed he could not get justice from the current selection committee. “I am the top scorer of the last Patron's Cup one-day tournament and four-day events but I am still being left out of the Twenty20 World Cup,” said Imran.

The diminutive opener added that he was being penalised for questioning the selectors about his omission from the off-shore in Abu Dhabi last April. “That reflects a biased attitude of the selectors and so I have decided not to play until the time a new set up is in place,” he said.

Imran said any of the players could consider the ICL offer as they wanted respect and dignity.

He also disclosed that he has written a letter to the PCB to clear his dues from the last central contract. “The PCB has suspended the central contract of the players from April for not showing good performance in the World Cup in the West Indies, but since I was not a part of that squad, my last contract should have remained valid,” he contended.

Chief selector Salahuddin Ahmad, when contacted, refused to comment on the players’ statements. “I would not like to indulge in such discussions and I believe the selectors took all the decisions with fairness and in the best interest of Pakistan cricket,” he told Dawn.