Imran Farhat's international career spanned between 2001 to 2011 © Getty Images
Imran Farhat’s international career spanned between 2001 to 2011 © Getty Images

Karachi: Pakistan’s discarded Test opening batsman Imran Farhat announced his retirement from international cricket in a bid to appear in the Masters Champions League (MCL), which commences in Dubai from Friday. Farhat, 33, made the decision after meeting the officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yesterday and got a No-Objection Certificate (NOC)to participate in the MCL. The left-handed batsman, who last played for the national team in 2013, joins a long list of Pakistani cricketers who have been forced by the the PCB to announce their international retirements in order to get the lucrative contracts in the Masters League. According to the PCB’s policy, the players, who sign contracts for the MCL, were told to first sign a letter to officially end their international careers with the decision being irrevocable. READ: MCL 2016: Dubai gets set for mega veterans event

Farhat played 40 Tests, 58 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and seven T20Is for Pakistan. His last international outing was in June 2013. The PCB, however, clarified that the players who go for the MCL can continue to play in domestic cricket. Despite having the experience of playing 181 first-class matches and scoring 12,669 runs, Farhat was left out in the drafts for the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL), which is set to be held in February. READ: MCL 2016: Sourav Ganguly to miss Libra Legends opening fixture

Farhat will join former team-mates Abdul Razzaq, Saleem Elahi, Mohammad Yousuf, Saqlain Mushtaq, Rana Naved, Taufiq Umar, Yasir Hameed, Mushtaq Ahmed, Azhar Mehmood, Hasan Raza, Humayun Farhat and Mohammad Khalil in the league. READ: MCL 2016: Danny Morrison, Isa Guha to be part of commentary team

The tournament will take place in Dubai International Cricket Stadium and Sharjah Cricket stadium, which have in the past had the honour of hosting many international matches. It was recently announced that Roshan Mahanama, formerly of the Elite Panel of the ICC Match Referees, who recently stepped down from his position, will be the match referee for the tournament.