Lahore: Oct 5, 2013
“I don’t follow cricket now and my focus is not on the sport anymore. It is over for me,” Yousuf said.
Yousuf, 39, however made it clear that he held no grudges over the fact that despite serving Pakistan cricket for so long he had not got an opportunity to retire with dignity from the sport, neither had the national cricket board given him a farewell or recognised his services.
“I am not bitter but yes, it is sad for me. But then in Pakistan cricket most senior players have been treated this way. I am not the first to face such a situation,” he said.
Yousuf said he would never accept any position or assignment with the current cricket set-up.
“It is a very bad system and it does not treat seniors fairly. I wouldn’t like to be a part of it,” he said when asked if he was ready to help the Pakistani batsmen as a coach or a consultant.
Yousuf, who scored 7,530 runs at an average of 52 in 90 Tests and also accumulated 9720 runs in 288 One-day Internationals, last played for Pakistan in November 2010 against South Africa.
Since then he has been sidelined by the selectors despite insisting that he was fit to play Tests for the country.
The former skipper said what saddened him was that neither the board nor the selectors had bothered to ever talk to him and tell him why they had dropped him or why he didn’t feature in their scheme of things.
Yousuf minced no words while lashing out at former teammate Waqar Younis.
“Sometimes I think the biggest problem in our cricket are these senior players. Waqar caused a lot of damage to our cricket,” Yousuf said.
“Waqar was not fair with either me or even Abdul Razzaq. He didn’t deal with us fairly. By sidelining us he only damaged Pakistan cricket in the long run because even today I know I could have been playing Test cricket, at least,” Yousuf insisted.
He said that while his generation of players even after retirement got along well and supported each other, he could not say the same thing about the older generation.
“Some of them have massive ego problems like Waqar. I got unfit on the 2010 tour but which player doesn’t get unfit? Does that mean I couldn’t get fit again or not play again. I played domestic cricket after that and proved my form but I was constantly ignored,” said Yousuf.
He had no doubt that Pakistan team was presently facing batting problems because the youngsters didn’t have proper role models to follow.
“I think today Asad Shafiq is technically our best player but he is in and out of the team and that is affecting his progress. Such young batsmen need to be given confidence and a proper run to gain in confidence,” he said.
Yousuf said India had no problems finding new talents and developing a formidable batting line-up because the players followed the right role models like Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.