Younis Khan, the Pakistan captain, has welcomed the return of allrounder Abdul Razzaq to the Pakistan side after a two-year exile caused by his decision to opt for the Indian Cricket League. Razzaq was fast-tracked into the national Twenty20 squad in England shortly after quitting the ICL, but his participation in the opening Super Eights match against Sri Lanka at Lord's today is highly unlikely as he arrives just hours before the game.
"This game is not possible but I think he will manage the last two games," Younis said on the eve of the game. "He is a good name in world cricket and in Twenty20 he is a fantastic allrounder.
"He is a senior guy and his return will be good for Pakistan cricket. He would be in any team in the world."
Razzaq was one of several former ICL players granted amnesty by the Pakistan Cricket Board a few weeks ago shortly after the Indian board took the initiative to allow players to return from the unofficial league. Razzaq was named in the original list of 30 probables the PCB had sent to the ICC in early April - before the BCCI announced the amnesty - but the board made a U-turn and scratched his name off because the ICC objected to his ICL status. However, when Razzaq confirmed that he had snapped ties with the ICL, the PCB named him as an emergency replacement for the injured seamer Yasir Arafat.
Razzaq is likely to play the next Super Eights match against New Zealand at The Oval on Saturday.
Younis also took the opportunity to clarify some unusual comments he had earlier made on Twenty20 cricket, comparing it to "WWF" and saying that it was better to take it easy and have fun in this format. He defended his comments and urged everyone not to take them too seriously.
"I am a simple guy. Sometimes people think I am wrong because when we lose I am still laughing," Younis said. "You must look forward, if you lose or win. This is life. Sometimes you have good days, sometimes you have bad days."