Malik Mohammad Qayyum, Pakistan's attorney general, has attacked the Pakistan Cricket Board for its firm stance against players who have signed up for the Indian Cricket League (ICL), saying it restrains them from earning their livelihood. Qayyum said the board could be in big trouble if the players decide to take them to court.
Qayyum, a former Lahore high court judge, led an inquiry into allegations of match-fixing among Pakistan players in the 1990s.
"The ban is a clear-cut case of restraining someone from earning from his trade," Qayyum told Geo TV, a Pakistan-based television channel. "If these players decide to seek redress from the court then they have a strong case against the board as the ban is not justified.
"The board can't stop a player from earning his livelihood. The ban on playing domestic cricket can be challenged by the players."
The PCB had reaffirmed its earlier stance that the six ICL players - Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran Farhat, Taufeeq Umar, Shabbir Ahmed, Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood - would not be eligible to represent Pakistan internationally or play in the domestic tournaments. The players hit out at the board's decision, arguing that it was an attempt to destroy their livelihood, and said they would discuss the issue with Inzamam before taking legal action.
The ICL completed its inaugural season in November last year.