KARACHI: Pakistan’s chief selector Iqbal Qasim has ruled out Mohammad Yousuf’s return to the national side, insisting that the former captain will have to prove his form and fitness on the domestic circuit first.
Although Yousuf did undergo a fitness test under the supervision of coach Dav Whatmore, his nine-month absence from domestic cricket is a cause for concern, according to Qasim who seemed to have asserted his authority in selection matters.
Qasim added that the 37-year old, a veteran of 90 Tests and 288 One-Day Internationals, will have to convince the selection committee by featuring in domestic matches.
“Yousuf will have to play domestic cricket first,” the chief selector told reporters in Lahore.
“If he does that, then we can consider him for selection if the team needs him. We’re not shutting the doors on anyone, especially the seniors. They can all make their comebacks, including Abdul Razzaq. The selection committee prefers players who perform on the domestic level and they can always return to the national side with their performance there.”
The all-rounder, who missed Pakistan’s recent assignments due to a shoulder injury, confirmed to The Express Tribune that he will be taking part in Leicestershire’s Twenty20 campaign after being overlooked for the fitness tests.
No differences with Whatmore
Meanwhile, Qasim denied any differences with Whatmore on selection matters.
“There might be a communication gap but there are no differences between the coach and the selection committee. The coaching panel is gathering details about players which is a good initiative.”
Selectors begin hunt for U-19 World Cup
The selection committee began its hunt for youngsters to be part of the under-19 World Cup as trials to select the preliminary squad commenced in Lahore yesterday.
“The trials will be held in three phases,” selector Azhar Khan told The Express Tribune. “On the opening day, we picked 26 players to assess their performance. Similarly, around 28 players will be tested today and the process will continue until May 4.
As per the rules, we’ll have to select a 30-man squad initially. With Whatmore present at the trials, it will help the coach gauge the level of talent we have. The squad, however, will be named by the selection committee.”
Optimistic after first glimpse
Pakistan enjoy an impressive record in U19 World Cups, winning two editions besides finishing runners-up twice.
Khan was hopeful of another good show in the ninth edition which will be contested by 16 teams in Australia in August.
“The youngsters are promising and very talented. By looking at them, we can say that our future is safe. Hopefully, we’ll select a squad that will do us and the nation proud.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2012.
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