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October 8, 2008
Visa problems may have cost Mohammad Yousuf his place in Pakistan's 15-man squad to play the quadrangular Twenty20 tournament in Canada, but the batsman is pleased he was in the reckoning for a spot in the team.
"I am happy that finally the selectors did consider me for this brand of the game," Yousuf told PTI. "I am satisfied they considered me for the Toronto tournament. But the board knows what happened with the visas.
"I don't know the reasons as yet and I will find out," he said. "But I am just happy to be playing in the domestic Twenty20 championship and to see my team [Lahore Lions] reach the semi-finals."
Yousuf had been overlooked by Pakistan's selectors for the Twenty20 format in the past - he was left out of the team for the ICC World Twenty20. This time, too, Yousuf was not named in the original preliminary squad, but was a late inclusion after he hit out at the selectors. "I just want to know what the selection procedure is," Yousuf told the Urdu newspaper Daily Jang. "You go and ask great players like Wasim Akram and Inzamam-ul-Haq if I don't deserve to play Twenty20 cricket. If they say I should be dropped then I will quit all cricket."
Yousuf felt Twenty20 was not just about hammering the ball. "I think what is apparent is that now even Twenty20 cricket is now becoming a form of the game where you have to play sensible cricket, in which you have to bowl properly and bat properly and it is no longer bang-bang all the time."
The Lahore Lions lost in the semi-final of the RBS Twenty20 Cup to the defending champions Sialkot Stallions. Chasing 118, Lahore managed only 111, with Yousuf scoring 17 off 34 balls. In Lahore's three games in the tournament, Yousuf managed 32 runs at a strike-rate of 60.37.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala