The Pakistan Cricket Board has stopped pacer Mohammad Asif [ Images ] from signing up for a short stint with English county Nottinghamshire, telling him to focus on national assignments instead.
PCB sources said Asif had approached chairman Ejaz Butt for permission to sign the contract but was told to focus on his career with Pakistan.
"Asif's agents had arranged a short term contract for him with Nottinghamshire, which needed him to play for them after the Twenty20 [ Images ] World Cup until the start of Pakistan's Test series in England [ Images ] in July," a source said.
But when Asif was close to signing the contract he was told he could not play for Nottinghamshire.
"The reason we have decided against giving Asif permission to play in county cricket is because we want him to be fresh and super fit for the long tour to England. The selectors had genuine concerns there was a risk of Asif picking up an injury before Pakistan's Test series starts in England," the source added.
Asif, who has previously played for English county Leicestershire in 2006, was keen to play for Nottinghamshire as it would give him a chance to get used to English conditions before Pakistan's Test series against Australia [ Images ] and England.
The PCB recently included new clauses in the central contracts which specifically state that no player or his agent can enter into any contract with a foreign league without getting clearance from the Board.
The PCB has also said that if a player is given permission to play in a foreign league, his contractual salary would be deducted for this period.
The pacer said he was disappointed at not getting the permission to play for Nottinghamshire but it is not the end of the world.
"I accept whatever decision the board takes because eventually it is for my well-being and they just want to be sure I don't develop any fitness problems playing in county cricket; I can understand that," Asif said.
The PCB has not stopped other players from signing up for English counties -- including Rana Naved, who is serving a 12 month ban from playing for the national team, and Younus Khan, who has been approached by Lancashire to play for them this season.