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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Is Yousuf planning yet another comeback?

Contrary to reports that Mohammad Yousuf has decided to retire from international cricket the experienced batsman is hoping to make his comeback, a senior Lahore cricket official told ‘The News’ on Friday.

Lahore City Cricket Association (LCCA) president Khawja Nadeem has disclosed that Yousuf has decided to play in the domestic season for his regional team.

“I have been in contact with Yousuf and he is returning on September 11 with a positive frame of mind and will be taking part in domestic tournaments,” said Nadeem.

“Yousuf feels that he can play at the top level for another year and so, which is why he has decided not to hang up his boots despite calls that he has crossed his peak years,” he said.

The 37-year-old, who has played 90 Tests and 288 One-day Internationals, last featured for Pakistan in 2010 against South Africa. He is currently playing for Lashings World XI and has scored some runs for them including a century.

Meanwhile, sources close to Yousuf said that the departure of coach Waqar Younis is another reason why the former Pakistan captain is interested in making his international return.

According to the sources, Yousuf suspects that he has been overlooked for national duty because Waqar is not in favour of bringing him back. But since Waqar has decided to quit after the ongoing tour of Zimbabwe, Yousuf is hopeful that he will soon be able to revive his international career.

Meanwhile, one of the selectors has said that Yousuf can get back into contention if he can prove his form and fitness just like Misbah-ul-Haq has done to silence his critics. But he made it clear that there are no guarantees for Yousuf as players like Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Umar Akmal have done well in his absence.

Yousuf did take part in the domestic one-day competition and scored three consecutive half-centuries to prove his form and fitness but was still overlooked mainly because of his poor fielding.

In the meantime, this correspondent asked the LCCA president whether there is any truth that the current PCB chief Ijaz Butt will be contesting presidential elections from Lahore region, he replied in the negative.

“There is not truth in such reports. Until now, these are just rumours and I know nothing about it. We haven’t heard any such thing from the PCB headquarters.

“All of this came up in media before Eid. My tenure is up to 2013 and I would like to complete it.”
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