Yasir apologises for unwarranted interview – Pakistan again delays squad announcement for World Cup

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LAHORE – The Pakistan cricket Board has deferred the announcement of the team for the World Cup assuming they have time on their side for the final decision on certain players.
The PCB’s integrity committee headed by Ijaz Butt spent the entire day grilling Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Danish Kaneria, Yasir Hameed and Khalid Latif on Thursday and mailed the details of the meeting to the ICC for clearance while on Friday the selection committee assembled at the PCB headquarters but no decision was taken till late.
Although the case of Yasir was closed after he apologised before the committee for his interview over spot-fixing during England tour, the case of Malik and Akmal is still lying in limbo because there is nothing solid against these players whereas the ICC does not want to see them back in action.
It has been learnt that all the officials of the board on Friday remained involved in chit chat and enjoyed the cold weather with tea and snacks refreshing their email inboxes for the reply of the ICC and when they did not get any reply till late, the PCB came up with a press release announcing the deferment of the team announcement. The PCB release stated that the selection committee held a meeting on Friday at PCB Headquarters.
Chairman National Selection Committee Mohsin Hasan Khan presided over the meeting. Mohammad Ilyas (member), Azhar Khan (member), Asif Baloch (co-opt member) and Farukh Zaman (co-opt member) attended the meeting.
“The selection committee considered the names for 30 probables for the ICC World Cup as well as the ODI squad for the New Zealand Series. The announcement of both the squads has been deferred till early next week,” the release added.
The release further stated: “It is pertinent to mention here that the PCB has to submit the names of 30 players to the ICC for the World Cup by January 5, 2011.”
However, it has been learnt that the 30 players have already been listed and the names of Malik and Akmal are to be replaced with another two if these players were cleared. But interestingly, the ICC is playing at the background while the selection committee did not want to take the blame of dropping them leaving the integrity committee in a fix to take the final decision while staying in the forefront.
In his comments chief selector Mohsin Khan said: “We had lengthy discussions on performance and availability of many players. We were of the opinion that since we still have a few days before the deadline for announcing the World Cup squad, it would be better to wait until there is absolute clarity from PCB on the availability for selection of certain players.”
The two players, however, gave all details sought by the ICC to the PCB. Yasir submitted an unconditional apology to the PCB chairman and requested him for pardon. The batsman has said that he wants to be considered for national selection again.
Yasir in an interview was shown talking about spot-fixing and match-fixing. The interview by ‘News of the World’ had added fuel to the fire as just before Hameed’s interview, a sting operation by the same British tabloid had led to suspension of Pakistani trio of Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif and Mohammad Aamer on suspicion of spot-fixing. Now after two days of long hang over, the PCB is against playing a wait game.