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 Out of practice Yousuf likely to fly to England today

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PostSubject: Out of practice Yousuf likely to fly to England today    Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:24 am






LAHORE: Prolific middle-order batsman
Mohammad Yousuf is likely to depart for England on Wednesday to join the
national team a day ahead of the second Test against England, starting
in Birmingham from Aug 6.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
applied for visas for him and left-arm spinner Raza Hasan at the office
of the British High Commission in Lahore on Monday and was expecting to
get them on Tuesday but the matter was delayed until Wednesday.

A
PCB official told Dawn that the British High Commission has assured
that the visas would be issued on Wednesday and the players would be
leaving the same day by any available flight in order to reach
Birmingham well before the final team selection for the second Test.

It
was soon after tasting a big 354-run defeat at the hands of England in
the first Test at Trent Bridge that the PCB’s touring selection
committee suddenly took a U-turn on their earlier indifference regarding
the player by asking Yousuf to join the team despite his having
announced his retirement from international cricket due to the unfair
treatment given to him by the same PCB management some six months back.

Pakistan,
under Yousuf’s captaincy, lost all Test, One-day and T20 matches to
Australia on their last tour down under as a result of which the PCB’s
inquiry committee headed by Wasim Bari penalised seven cricketers
including Yousuf, handing him a ban for an indefinite period.

Another
experienced batsman Younis Khan was also handed the same punishment
while Shahid Afridi (Rs5 million), Kamran Akmal (Rs3 million), Umar
Akmal (Rs2 million), Shoaib Malik and Rana Navid-ul-Hasan (one-year ban
plus cash penalty) were also fined and penalised.

All cricketers
except for Yousuf filed appeals against the punishments but only those
who reached a compromise with the PCB were allowed to continue playing
cricket after reduction in penalties. Younis Khan, too, did not attempt
to make any compromise and is still out of the team.



As for Yousuf, who had preferred to announce his
retirement instead of appealing against the ban, he decided to review
the step after the PCB’s trying to contact him through common friends.

But
Yousuf has still not officially announced his comeback to international
cricket although there are reports of his meeting with PCB Chairman
Ijaz Butt in order to be able to exchange views over certain issues with
him soon after reaching England.



Thereafter it is likely that both would address a
joint press conference to officially announce his taking back his
decision to retire.

In all these circumstances, the touring
selection committee headed by Yawar Saeed, a close friend of the PCB
chairman, looks strong as neither any PCB official nor any member of the
national selection committee was ready to speak about Yousuf’s return
until Yawar advised the chairman to recall the seasoned batsman. It is
also being said that the PCB chairman will recall Younis Khan, too,
whenever Yawar asks him to do so.

Though Yousuf is a mature
middle-order batsman, he has remained out of touch of the game for the
last six months mainly because of his religious assignments. It is being
said that he may not be able to quickly adjust to the tough English
conditions.


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