Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf has dismissed the impression that he is trying to make his way into the team through a ‘shortcut’, adding that he will continue the hard work and wait until his turn comes to don the national colours again.
Yousuf, who last played for Pakistan during the five-match One-Day International series against South Africa in November 2010, has stayed away from any form of cricket for at least nine months. However, the right-hander started training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) earlier this month and underwent a fitness test under the supervision of head coach Dav Whatmore, fuelling speculation of his return to the national team ahead of the Sri Lanka series.
However, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Selector Iqbal Qasim ruled out the immediate return of the 37-year-old, saying that the former captain will have to prove his worth and play at the domestic circuit first.
Following the chief selector’s remarks, Yousuf said that he was ready to continue the hard work he has put in as he aims to win back his place in the side.
“I’ve returned to playing cricket,” Yousuf told The Express Tribune. “I believe I can play for my country again and continue doing so for a few years.
“I am not looking at shortcuts to gain an entry in the team. I’m concentrating on continuing the hard work that I’ve put in and play at any level till I regain my place in the playing-eleven.
“I won’t be disappointed if I’m not selected for the Sri Lanka tour and will play domestic cricket to gain the selectors’ confidence.”
Pakistan will play two Twenty20s, five One-Day Internationals and three Tests against Sri Lanka on their sojourn starting early June.
U-turn on county stint
Yousuf, who was least interested in his county stint with Leicestershire earlier this year as the schedule clashed with Ramazan, said he was now looking for a fresh contract.
“I’ve approached Leiceste-rshire through my representative recently.
“I declined an offer earlier due to Ramazan and now I’ve asked them for a contract for matches before or after the month. Hopefully, I’ll get the brief stint which will be extremely important for me.”
The veteran batsman said that in the meantime he will continue his training at the NCA.
“I had a few days of rest in Karachi and I’ll return
to resume my training from today.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2012.
More in SportsCricket: Bowling coach to be finalised ‘soon’