Pakistan news July 19, 2010

'I can play under any captain' - Mohammad Yousuf

Cricinfo staff

Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf is ready to come out of retirement sooner rather than later, further broadening the possibility of an appearance at some point for Pakistan in the summer.

Yousuf, who announced his sudden retirement after a win-less tour of Australia, had said recently he was targeting the tour of UAE later this year to make a return, but the team's struggles in the first Test against Australia at Lord's may have prompted him to change his mind.

"I am available any time for my national team," Yousuf said in Karachi. "If the team doesn't need me I stand retired. But if I'm needed, I am ready and available to serve my country. If PCB invites me with respect I will definitely go and join the team."

Ijaz Ahmed, Pakistan's assistant coach, hinted at Yousuf's possible return. "He can replace Afridi but the management haven't decided yet who will come. It could come out in a couple of days. Maybe later, somebody will come but not at the moment.

Pakistan made scores of 148 and 289 with only one batsman, Salman Butt, managing to pass fifty. They lost 11 of their wickets to Shane Watson and the part-time spinner Marcus North.

Though their bowlers competed well, the batsmen fell short mainly due to the lack of experience in the middle order, which was missing the pedigree of Yousuf and Younis Khan for differing reasons.

In the immediate aftermath of the Lord's loss speculation centred on the PCB sending out an SOS to Yousuf, but Ijaz Butt denied that was the case. The matter of Yousuf and Younis's return was considered at a meeting the chairman held with team management to appoint a new captain, but was deferred until after the second Test against Australia, officials insisting they were happy with the performances of debutantes Azhar Ali and Umar Amin.

"These are the only two players we are talking about, Younus Khan and Yousuf," Ijaz Ahmed added. "Let's see, it might be decided about Yousuf. Yousuf might be coming here."

Salman, 25, was appointed captain after Shahid Afridi announced another unexpected retirement from Tests. Afridi was named captain for the entire tour of England but quit after the Lord's defeat saying he wasn't enjoying Test cricket after all.

"He was the vice-captain as well. I hope he can manage this," Ijaz Ahmed said of Salman's promotion. "We have done a lot of talking to him and he has played really well and is shaping up well. I think he is getting mature and now he has got the responsibility as well. I think he will come good for that."

Yousuf has had problems in the past with Shoaib Malik when he was captain but said he was willing to play under Salman. "It's a PCB decision (appointing Salman) and everybody should respect it," Yousuf said. "I can play under any captain and have never felt degraded playing under anyone."

Yousuf added that he was in touch with the PCB chairman, who was kept aware of his plans to return.

Yousuf was the captain during Pakistan's shambolic tour of Australia, where the team came under fire for their performances. The PCB responded by penalising seven players it believed were responsible for the defeats, Yousuf among them. He and Younis were banned indefinitely, and as a mark of protest, Yousuf announced he was quitting the game "for now."

He was the only one among the seven punished players not to appeal against the sanctions, despite the PCB leaving the door open for him to return. However, since Yousuf didn't respond to those messages from the board the national selectors could not consider him for the tour of England.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 26, 2010, 21:25 GMT

    Why Mohammad Yousuf wants to come back in the team.First he was retire and secondly he has so many issued.Why PCB again making a joke for themself.What they are thinking now.You alraedy wants young blood in the team and they perfom very well against Australia.So PCB is making another mistake to have Yousuf in the team.Younis Khan has proved as a captain he is the best with the players junior or seniors.PCB has to look into Younis Khan.Have a courtisy and respect for Younis what he contribute for pakistan.I would like to see Younis Khan in the team as a Captain.Let Salman Butt concertrate on his batting.

  • Moazan on July 26, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    I really hope that mohammad yousuf can come back into the pakistani cricket team because at the moment they are #6 and 7 in the rankings for test and odi's, and if mohammad yousuf comes back they will probably go to 4 and 5, and i think that younis khan should actually stay out of the team because he isnt really a team player like other people in the team ( afridi, akmal brothers, aamer, etc.) and mohammad yousuf is also a world class player so pakistan cant think of leaving him out of the pakistan side, but the PCB just wants to make a name for itself by banning players and then by taking the bans off of them which is just wierd because if you were going to take the bans off then why did you even put bans on the players?????????? its just wierd

  • Tansah on July 26, 2010, 13:37 GMT

    Pakistan is full of young and talented players (M. Aamer is a good example). The problem it has is the management, known as the PCB... which, well... can't really manage. There is too much politics involved and not enough cricket. I say that both Younis and Yousuf are good players but they need to learn to get rid of any trace of corruption to prevent the young players' progress from being slowed down. Hey... like it or not, they are good. And they can't be picked for this squad as it is too late, they would need to get used to these rather crazy English conditions to perform, and two other players would need to go. Younis hasn't done that well of his county team... whatever that is... it is English though. For WC 2011, if they are gonna pick 'em, they need practice... lots of it.

  • Dummy4 on July 25, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    totally agree with shaqiq except for removing farhat. farhat showed how good he is with the bat i believe he can do better however england have much better bowlers than the aussies so i think we need experienced batters

  • Saim on July 22, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    I wish Great series of successes for Pakistan cricket team in near future but we are badly missing

    Muhammad Yousaf, Asim Kamal, Younis Khan, Yasir Hameed in Test Team.

    Pakistan need to make their middel order strong in test and one days.

    I was thinking the current pakistani players only can play T20 they are not able to play test matches.

  • Shahiq on July 22, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    I dunno if anybody do reads these comments, but still would write one .. To all those who thinks bringing Yousuf back is a step taken backwards & preach for grooming youngsters, mark my words ... If Yousuf (& Younis for that matter) arent brought back, 3 years down the line, Pakistan will be having the most troubled batting order.. The people & the bosses wont persist with the Azhar Alis & The umar Amins if they lose against Eng & the SA, new guys will be brought in & then removed & then again & then again.. And how the hell are you going to groom the youngsters??? 4 inexperienced players in the middle order ??? Play two & two good old buddies ... Open with Azhar, remove Farhat for goodness sake !!! Each of Each of Azhar, Amin n U Akmal can play with Yousuf, Younis, Butt .. And btw, why isnt Yousuf havent been sent to England yet , not even a week now to play England. What are the bosses thinking???? Let common sense prevail ... Ameen ...

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Yousaf has served Pakistan well in the past but we are going through a change and having anybody from the "old school" of arguing primadonnas is only going to have a negative effect and poison the new young players with the same attitude.

    Long term the PCB have done the right thing. We may lose a few matches here and there but in a year or 2 we will be the strongest team on the international circuit.

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    Well my friend "AVMD" If you think Yousuf has not been fit in past, it is ridiculous. He is the only player from Pakistan side in past who played tests and ODI S in a row for years and always gave performance before blaming him have details about PCB and their ability to deal matters. Some times I think Malcom Speed was very true about what he said.

  • Avais on July 21, 2010, 2:19 GMT

    Yusuf had served his country well but he is not needed now. He will only block the development of a young player. Even in his younger days, he wasn't the fittest player in the team. Now he is older, not even close to test match fitness, hasn't played in competetive cricekt for some time, he is not as valuable a player anymore as some people are thinking. Thanks, but no thanks Yusuf.

  • hamza on July 20, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    Its a relief younis and yousaf are not part our team. Their recent performances have been useless. Even at their peak, they never delievered at cruch times. 2003 and 2007 world cups are just examples; we were relying on them and they failed miserably. Hopefully they wont be a part of the 2011 WC team. When Yousaf scored more than 500 runs in the England series in 2006, we still lost 2-0; he did not win us or save any match. Above all, both of them think of themselves as being bigger than the game. They have violated the code of conduct on more than one occasion.

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