Mohammad Yousuf surprisingly pulled out of the first Test against South Africa in Karachi at the very last minute, citing a lack of batting practice as the cause.
Yousuf has not picked up a bat since the ODI series between an Asia XI and Africa XI in June this year. He was dropped from Pakistan's Twenty20 squad, to much surprise, and has since been on Islamic preaching missions through Pakistan.
Salahuddin Ahmed, chief selector, said that Yousuf had taken the decision himself. "Yousuf is fit but he feels he is not fully match-fit. He said he needs some more time. It is his own decision."
There is bound to be speculation over Yousuf's decision, coming as it did so late in the day, and after he had been named in the 15-man squad. "He was fit for the squad, but after practice felt he wasn't totally there yet," said Salahuddin.
Whatever the official version, the Indian Cricket League (ICL) is likely to rear its head in any discussion on the matter. Yousuf was one of four players from Pakistan to sign up for the league, before he revoked his decision after discussions with the Pakistan board and announced he would play for his country instead.
The statement, expectedly, drew a sharp response from the ICL. Subsequent reports in Pakistan said that they had sent Yousuf a communication indicating their unhappiness on his decision to not honour his contract. A legal notice may follow and rumours already circulating suggest that there might be legal ramifications had he played for Pakistan.
However, Gaurav Seth, ICL's marketing and communication head, denied these reports. "We've not sent any legal notice. It's not yet clear whether he wants to be a part of the league or not and we're waiting for his response. We hope to hear from him over the course of the next few days. We will then decide on a course of action."