Tue, Aug 21, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Razzaq quits cricket after being left out of Twenty20 team

AP , ISLAMABADAP, LOUGHBOROUGH, ENGLAND

All-rounder Abdul Razzaq plays a shot at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, on Jan. 31 last year.

PHOTO: AFP

Allrounder Abdul Razzaq quit international cricket yesterday after selectors left him out of Pakistan's squad for next month's Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

"I believe that they [selectors] wanted to drop me from Test and one-day international cricket as well, so as a protest I am quitting international cricket," Razzaq, 27, told broadcaster GEO TV from London.

Pakistan selectors omitted Razzaq and seasoned middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf from its 15-man Twenty20 squad.

"There can be a reconciliation, but the [Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)] has to listen to the grievances of the players," Razzaq said. "Why is the board acting like this with players, trying to get rid of all the seniors?"

PCB chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed dismissed Razzaq's claims saying: "The team for the Twenty20 World Championship was picked purely on merit."

"I still believe that Razzaq has a future in Pakistan cricket and he should reconsider his decision," Ahmed added.

Razzaq is one of three players, along with Yousuf and Younis Khan, who have yet to sign central contracts with the PCB -- offered to 20 cricketers. He is also linked with the breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL), but stressed that his retirement from international cricket had nothing to do with the unofficial Twenty20 league.

"The ICL has nothing to do with my retirement decision, I have taken this decision because I was dropped from Twenty20 World Championship," Razzaq said. "I have an offer from [ICL] but I have not confirmed it yet. I will decide only in the next few days."

Razzaq has featured in 46 Test matches, taking 100 wickets with his right-arm medium fast bowling and scoring 1,946 runs. He captured 246 wickets and made 4,465 runs in 231 limited-overs internationals.

England bowler Ryan Sidebottom will not play in the first one-day international against India today because of a side strain.

The left-arm swing bowler was injured in the drawn third Test between the teams two weeks ago. He was unable to bowl in India's second innings.

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