Pakistan cricketers reject offers from new Indian league

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Pakistan cricketers Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Asif have turned down offers to play in the unofficial Indian Cricket League Twenty20 series.

The three told Reuters on Saturday that playing for Pakistan was far more important for them and they had not been tempted by offers made by the ICL organizers.

"I got a very good offer but in the end I was not tempted as I have a few more years to give to Pakistan cricket which is far more important for me as a player," Akhtar said.

Indian and Pakistan cricket boards have threatened to ban players who decide to play in the league which is not recognised by the International Cricket Council.

The league organisers have signed up recently retired West Indies skipper Brian Lara and also hope to lure Australians Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne out of retirement.

"I can't let my people down and disappoint them. I have just started my career for Pakistan and I enjoy the feeling of performing for my country. Nothing, not even money, can match that," Asif said.