Yousuf handed World Cup lifeline

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LAHORE: Veteran Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has been given a lifeline to prove his fitness and make the cut for his country’s World Cup squad after the International Cricket Council (ICC) allowed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to submit its 30-man provisional squad till 5th January. The PCB had asked the ICC to extend the submission deadline for the provisional squad while it sought information from Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneria who are being investigated for their alleged links with bookies. The ICC has in return accepted the request and extended the deadline from Dec 19 to Jan 5.
Though the fate of the trio hangs in the balance, Yousuf intends to make use of this extra time in his bid to prove fitness and become a member of Pakistan’s World Cup squad. Also in contention for a berth in the team is all-rounder Sohail Tanvir, who was not in the picture for selection due to his suspect fitness. Both Yousuf and Tanvir were almost overlooked for the 30-man squad which was finalised during a series of meetings before its announcement was deferred due to the players’ clearance issue last week. The selectors are now looking to assess the fitness of Yousuf and Tanvir who have not been selected for the New Zealand assignment.