Yousuf to go any length for selection


Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf is hungry to play international cricket once again and said if the selectors want him to appear in domestic cricket he will follow their criteria for national selection. “I have regained my passion for the sport and to play for Pakistan once again. If the selectors want me to play domestic cricket I will do it,” he said.
The 37-year-old caused a stir in Pakistani cricket circles recently when he took and passed a fitness test conducted by the national team coach Australian Dav Whatmore, leading to speculations that the senior batsman would be considered for the tour to Sri Lanka.
But chief selector, Iqbal Qasim after meeting with Whatmore in Lahore insisted that while they had nothing against any player but the criteria for selection remained that everyone had to appear in domestic cricket.
“It is good Yousuf has given a fitness test and wants to play for Pakistan again. But he has to first play in domestic cricket and show his match fitness to be considered for national selection,” Qasim said. Sources said that the chief selector had sorted out their issues with Whatmore and made it clear that the selectors would not consider anyone who had not played domestic cricket.
Yousuf, who has appeared in 90 Tests and 288 one-day internationals, last played in a domestic match in July last year when he appeared for Lahore in the national super eights T20 event in Faisalabad. Yousuf has not been considered for national selection since November, 2010. “My job is to fulfill the requirements of the selectors and board to be considered for selection, the rest is up to God,” Yousuf said. He said that he had great faith and would play in domestic cricket and show everyone he was still ready for international cricket. Since scoring a world record of 1,788 Test runs in the calendar year of 2006, Yousuf has averaged around 36 in 17 Tests with just one century and seven half centuries in a total of 1128 runs.
But Yousuf insisted age was not a problem for him. “I am happy that I passed the fitness test and I know my time will come,” he added. “I don`t want to make any shortcut into the national team. I will perform and wait for my turn.” Yousuf said even if the selectors didn`t consider him for the upcoming Sri Lankan tour, he wouldn`t be disappointed and would just continue to work hard.