A decision on whether or not Mohammad Yousuf will be allowed to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is expected to be made on March 29, following a final hearing of the Mumbai-based arbitration court looking into the dispute.
Yousuf had initially signed up for the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL) last year, seemingly in protest after he was dropped from the Pakistan squad for the Twenty20 World Championships. The Pakistan board, however, eventually convinced him to change his mind and renege on his contract, luring him back with the promise of an IPL contract.
The ICL, understandably, took the matter to an arbitration court, claiming that Yousuf had already signed up and his contract prevented him from playing in any rival league. The matter has been stuck in a legal limbo since then, a few hearings this year so far not resolving anything.
Yousuf was the only player whose services remained unsold at the recent IPL auctions, franchises undoubtedly hesitant over his legal status. Yousuf himself is said to be annoyed that the Pakistan board hasn't resolved the matter yet, but officials maintain that full support is being provided.
"The PCB is fully defending Yousuf's decision to play in the IPL," Nasim Ashraf, chairman PCB, "We have lawyers in India handling the matter and a legal representative from the board has also been there at the hearings. The last hearing went on for considerably longer than expected but a final decision is now expected on March 29."
Ashraf also revealed that though Yousuf had not been 'bought' by any franchise, the IPL had guaranteed to match the package that the ICL had offered to him initially.