The No Objection Certificate (NOC) granted to Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan to play in the T20 Blitz tournament in Hong Kong has been withdrawn by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as per a report in The Indian Express. Pathan, who had earlier been given the green light to play in the tournament, was all set to play for the Kowloon Cantons team. However, the BCCI reversed its stand on the matter, and decided to continue its policy of not allowing its players to participate in leagues it sees as competition.
"Indian players have a brand name. Indian players playing in league will attract Indian viewers. It would also mean that our sponsors too want to invest in other leagues. That is why we will be not allowing any Indian players to be part of any leagues," an unnamed BCCI official was quoted as saying in the report.
It has been speculated that the u-turn from BCCI comes after other Indian players expressed their eagerness to play in cricket leagues abroad. Dinesh Karthik, who was keen on playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), also had its application turned down by the Indian cricket board.
Yusuf Pathan, who was part of India's victorious sides at the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 ICC World Cup, is not a BCCI-contracted player at present. He had thanked the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) and BCCI after he was initially cleared to play in Hong Kong.
"This would be a good opportunity to get into the groove before the IPL, because international cricketers — Shahid Afridi, Tymal Mills, Darren Sammy to name a few — are playing the tournament. I played the 50-over domestic tournaments in Bangladesh and Kenya after last year’s IPL and the people at the Hong Kong T20 event had been in touch with me for the last three months," the elder of the Pathan brothers had said.
The 34-year-old cricketer last played for India in a T20 International match against South Africa in March 2012.