Yousuf confident but leaves fate in the hands of selectors
Is Mohammad Yousuf’s return to the Pakistan side imminent? From the looks of it seems the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Lahore Region Cricket Association (LRCA) may have just set the wheels in motion.
But while wearing the Pakistan jersey has been on the veteran batsman’s mind for quite some time, he is not taking his appointment as the captain of Lahore for National T20 Cup as a lifeline just yet.
The real question for Yousuf and the team management is whether the 36-year-old can still be useful for the national squad. For the languid right-hander, who had an impressive average of 52.29 in 90 Tests and 41.41 in 288 ODIs, the best way to clear any doubts would be to get among the runs again.
According to him, T20 cricket presents an exciting challenge for him at this stage of his career.
“I’m delighted to be playing domestic cricket in Pakistan again. It’s been a long break and I am raring to go. I’m excited at the thought of playing in the upcoming domestic T20 tournament in Karachi in front of the local crowds,” he told Pakpassion.net in an interview.
“I don’t see myself as the “prize” wicket in the upcoming tournament. There are a number of high quality batsmen taking part in the tournament, I will just try and do my best for the Lahore Lions. We have a nice balance in the team. I never go into matches or tournaments making predictions, but there is a nice blend of youth and experience and if we perform to the best of our ability then we could do very well in the competition,“ he added.
Yousuf also clarified that while he has been largely on the sidelines since his last game for Pakistan in 2010, he has kept himself up with the times and never ruled out the possibility for an international comeback.
“Whilst I’ve not been playing first class cricket in the ongoing Presidents Trophy, I have been playing club cricket in Lahore as well as doing a lot of gym work to maintain my levels of fitness. In addition I have been going to the National Cricket Academy on a regular basis to work on my batting with the coaches at the NCA.”
“As far as a return to international cricket is concerned ahead of the series in India and then South Africa, I’m not even thinking about it. That is down to the selectors, the most important thing is to get some domestic cricket under my belt and make some runs. The rest is out of my hands,” he said.
The National T20 Cup will run in Karachi from December 2-10.