Karachi: Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf's decision to play in the Bangladesh Cricket League has irked the Pakistani selectors, who feel instead of venturing abroad the former captains' focus should have been on the ongoing domestic season to earn their place back in the national team.
Sources close to the selectors said they were surprised by the players' move at a time when they should have been fighting hard to regain their place in the Pakistan team after being ignored for the upcoming World Cup.
Malik was not cleared for selection by the integrity committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board while Yousuf was ignored for the ongoing New Zealand tour and for the World Cup because of suspected fitness problems.
Pakistan selectors feel Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf should be playing in the domestic competition.
"Why think about going to Bangladesh in the first place when the domestic season is on and any performance will count for both the players in their bid to make a comeback in the national team," one source closed to the selectors said.
The source said that the selectors would speak to PCB about Malik's decision to play in Bangladesh when the domestic one-day championship was in progress.
Interestingly, after rejecting Malik's application initially, the PCB later gave permission to the cricketer to go and play in Bangladesh.
The source also noted that Yousuf had gone to play in Bangladesh even before Pakistan's World Cup was finalised.
"His (Yousuf) preference to play in Bangladesh over domestic cricket may have gone against him during the World Cup team selection," he said.
"Yousuf's decision to play in Bangladesh at that time left the selectors feeling he was giving more preference to money rather than the country," he added.
Yousuf, one of Pakistan's most celebrated and senior cricketers, was also banned and fined during a domestic one-day match recently for leaving the venue early and violating the PCB dress code.
But sources close to both the players claim that they had lost faith in the selectors.
"Look Malik played diligently in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy for PIA and also in the final and was a top performer in the competition yet he was overlooked because the board didn't give him clearance.
"So why shouldn't he go now and make some extra money in the Bangladesh league," one source said.
Similarly, another source close to Yousuf said that the former captain felt dejected after being snubbed from the World Cup-bound Pakistan team despite scoring runs in the national one-day championship.