Shabbir Ahmed and Naved-ul-Hasan were barred from playing in a one-day match for the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) against the visiting Hong Kong side on May 14 due to the Pakistan Cricket Board's ban on players who have joined the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL).
"WAPDA named the two players in their side for the game as they are employees. But we said they couldn't play because of the board policy which has banned any players involved with the ICL from playing for Pakistan or for any domestic side in Pakistan," a senior domestic cricket official.
Reacting to the development, Shabbir said: "It is so frustrating I can't play in my country. But what can we do. Even if we want to fight this ban legally we have to do it collectively."
The PCB, in December last year, announced that players who signed with the ICL will not be allowed to represent Pakistan internationally or play domestic cricket in the country. Though Shabbir was banned last year (he took part in the inaugural ICL tournament), the board's governing committee was reconsidering its stance. But the board then decided to reaffirm its earlier stance in January. On the other hand, Naved was one of eight Pakistanis who signed with the ICL in February.
Despite the PCB's diktat regarding ICL players, WAPDA had included the two in their squad for the match at the Bagh-e-Jinnah Stadium in Lahore, even naming Shabbir as captain.
Shabbir represented the Chennai Superstars for two seasons, while Naved was part of the Lahore Badshahs, before both of them were included in the Pakistan XI for the ICL 20s World Series.