Pakistan news April 26, 2012

Yousuf eager for international return


Mohammad Yousuf, the Pakistan batsman, has said that he's still passionate about playing cricket and would relish the chance to play Test cricket again. He took a fitness test under Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore on Tuesday in a bid to stage a comeback to international cricket.

Yousuf, 37, last played a Test in 2010, when Pakistan took on England in the controversial Lord's Test that was marred by spot-fixing. Yousuf has not featured in international or domestic tournaments in more than nine months due to personal reasons. "I never lost my passion for cricket," Yousuf told ESPNcricinfo. "There were certain commitments in my life that got higher priority for a while, but now I am hungry to play."

He made his debut 14 years ago and has played 90 Tests (scoring 7530 runs at an average of 52.29) and 288 ODIs (scoring 9720 at 41.71). He says he wants to focus only on Test cricket in the future. "I am least concerned about ODIs. My focus [right now] is Test cricket, I want to play it. My basics are right and I have lots of experience under my belt."

Yousuf, whose career has been plagued by controversy in the past, was banned by the PCB twice in 2010. First, for his poor performance on a winless tour of Australia and then for differences with Younis Khan, which the PCB said was a bad influence on the team. "I don't want to live in past, people learn from mistakes. I have always tried to do my best, but sometimes things go wrong," he said. "I can't change the past, but I can only hope to revive my career."

With younger players like Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq now featuring regularly in the side, some feel Yousuf will find it difficult to break into the team again. "I am not against new blood being inducted in the side - it's good," Yousuf said. "No one plays forever, but I still have cricket left [in me] and I have a role to play."

Pakistan are slated to tour Sri Lanka soon after the IPL to play two Twenty20s, five ODIs and three Tests. PCB's chief selector Iqbal Qasim said that the board would discuss Yousuf's future during their next meeting in May. "He is training and that's what all players must do, but that doesn't mean he will be selected in the team," Qasim said. "If a coach is interested in a player he must convince the selection committee [first]."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    He really should be in the 3 formats !! He has class more than, say, Morgan, Owais Shah, Misbah, Asad Shafiq,............. Selectors should consider some old guns who are in prime form including Rana Naved-ul-Hasan (, Azhar Mehmood and the living legend MoYo !!

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    its a good news for d pakistani fan as they need a strong bating fixer in their line up.he may b d 1

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    Yousaf is a great player but i think he can only play test cricket now in test cricket he can be usefull for the team and for youngsters also he must be back in test team only!

  • Humayun on April 29, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Yousuf plz decide if u have retired from cricket or not! when ever your out the team ur statement is i hav retired!!!! And my personal opinion is the you finaly do take retiment.... its time to give younger guys chance ..............

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    Thank you whatmore to bring yousaf back i don't understand why he was drooped from 1 and half years he is still younger than tendulkar in performance much batter than misbah and some-others and good news to see kamran akmal in ground becouse keeper we have so many but we need keeping+bating wich kamran akmal can do at this moment.

  • Khair ul on April 29, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    If he is fit, he deserves another chance. He lost time because of his own ego. The only way a batsman like him can demand respect is by playing not by making statements that he does not get respect. As far as finding a place in the team is concerned that should not be a problem provided he is fit.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    Class is permanent, Form is temporary

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    he should be selcted but the question is in the testlineup where is he goonna fitted 1 hafeez 2 taufeiq 3 azhar 4 younas 5 misbah 6 asad 7 adnan 8 rrehman 9 gul 10 ajma 11 aizaz

  • Dummy4 on April 28, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    He will be the key to win the world : I'd love to see him in the Team, and hope will crack the bestest shots for youngster to learn. He has ability to ensure to impress those batsman who newly bound up, Best of Luck YOusufff

  • Dummy4 on April 28, 2012, 13:50 GMT

    YES !! I would love to see him back ! He has passed the fitness test which is tough one involving jumping over hurdles, stamina and good physique. I request the selectors to PLEASE select him in the test arena. Should also be considered in the one-dayers once he gets going in tests, of-course he is more fluent than that Baba-e-TukTuk !!

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