Former captains Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf had their international futures cast aside and then restored just as quickly after the Pakistan Cricket Board backtracked on its decision to ban the two players overnight.
On Wednesday, the PCB said the two “should not be part of the team in any format” following reports of in-fighting during the unsuccessful tour of Australia ending last month.
The decision prompted protesters in Hyderabad to burn bats in a brief demonstration but a few hours later the PCB clarified its position saying there was no timeframe on the bans imposed on the two.
“The PCB wishes to clarify that the recommendation of the committee is not a life ban on these cricketers,” the PCB’s second statement of the day said.
“There is no specified term in the recommendation for these two players. As and when the PCB deems appropriate, these players will be considered for selection for the national team.”
The official change of stance came hours after it announced Younis and Yousuf would no longer be considered for selection after an inquiry into Pakistan’s defeat in every match of their three-Test, five one-day and Twenty20 series in Australia.
The PCB handed out 12-month bans to Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved and fined Shahid Afridi and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal three million rupees ($35,000) and Umar Akmal two million.
“Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan’s… attitude has a trickledown effect which is a bad influence for the whole team (and they) should not be part of (the) national team in any format,” the PCB said in its earlier statement on Wednesday.
The initial decision by the PCB left new head coach Waqar Younis shocked and left to try and rebuild a side for the defence of their Twenty20 World Cup title in West Indies in April.
“I will be talking to the board about this and see what happens,” Younis told reporters from Australia.
The selectors are due to meet this week to announce the 15-member squad for the World Cup and the board will also announce a new captain.
While Yousuf and Younis were not named in the preliminary squad of 30 players for the event, Malik and Rana were.
“I want to know what I did wrong,” Rana said. “I will be consulting with my people before deciding any future line of action.”
The PCB said the six-member inquiry committee, headed by its chief operating officer Wasim Bari, had based its recommendations on information gathered during several hearings with the players and reports from the team management.