|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 11th June 2009
All-rounder Abdul Razzaq Thursday said he was excited at the prospect of reviving his international career after he was cleared to join Pakistan as a replacement in the World Twenty20.
The 29-year-old replaces Yasir Arafat in the squad after the paceman was ruled out of the rest of the tournament when he pulled his hamstring in the opening match against hosts England on Sunday.
"I am over the moon. It's a great moment and a chance to revive my career," Razzaq told AFP. "I will be flying early Friday and hope to join the team in time for the Sri Lanka match."
Pakistan face Sri Lanka in their first Super Eight match at Lord's on Friday.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to allow Razzaq to join the squad as a replacement and their request was granted late Wednesday.
Razzaq, who has played 46 Tests and 231 one-day internationals since making his debut in 1996, joined the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) in protest at being left out of Pakistan's team for the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007.
He and 22 other players who joined the ICL -- which is not recognised by the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India -- were banned from all forms of cricket in Pakistan.
A Sindh high court earlier this year suspended the ban on Razzaq and 20 other players. The two others did not apply for a suspension as they had already retired.
Razzaq broke his ties with the ICL last month, a prerequisite for PCB clearance to play at international level.
The aggressive all-rounder will be the first player from the ICL to resume his international career and said he regretted the ICL stint.
"I made a big mistake by joining the ICL but no one from the previous PCB set-up stopped me.... Now the two-year period is behind me and I am fully focused on reviving my career and I have got my wish of playing for Pakistan."
Razzaq announced his retirement from the international game last year -- a decision he rescinded within a month.
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)