Yousuf must play domestic cricket for selection consideration

37-year-old Mohammad Yousuf didn’t play in the last domestic season AFP

Lahore, Apr 25, 2012

Keen to revive his international career, Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Yousuf took a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy, but chief selector Iqbal Qasim made it clear that the senior batsman would have to play domestic matches to be considered for selection.

“Yousuf has appeared in the fitness tests and that is good. It is a good sign that he is practicing again but our criteria is clear, players even if they are seniors must appear in domestic cricket matches to be considered for selection,” Qasim told PTI.

Insisting that criteria for selecting players remained their form and fitness in domestic cricket, Qasim said: “We have to see how much domestic cricket he has played.”

The 37-year-old cricketer didn’t play in the last domestic season, although he appeared in the national T20 Super Eights event held in Faisalabad last year in July-August.

Yousuf, whose international career came to a halt in November 2010, took fitness test along with seven other plauers including Umar Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Aizaz Cheema, Kamran Akmal.

Yousuf told reporters that he was confident of reviving his international career and perform at the highest level for a few more years.

“I have tried to maintain my fitness even while I was not playing cricket. I have given my fitness test. Now the selectors and board have to let me know about the results and decide what to do,” Yousuf said.

Yousuf, who has been practicing at the NCA under the watchful eyes of Pakistan national team coach Dav Whatmore for the last two weeks, said he had started to get his old touch back and was feeling confident again.

“I have enjoyed training and practicing with Whatmore. The urge is still there to play international cricket.”

Whatmore has been taking fitness tests of all the players ahead of the Pakistan’s tour to Sri Lanka, to be held from late May, in order to assess their capabilities and fitness.

Whatmore said that the fitness test has been designed to let every player know where he stood as certain level of fitness is necessary to play international cricket.