Yousufs ICL move a big loss to Pak cricket, says ex-Pak skipper Zaheer Abbas

November 7th, 2008 - 2:03 pm ICT by ANI  

Karachi , Nov 7 (ANI): Former Pakistan cricket skipper Zaheer Abbas has said that star batsman Mohammad Yousufs move to join the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) was a huge loss to Pakistan cricket.

Yousuf (34) had joined the lucrative ICL on Wednesday, prompting the PCB to ban him from national and international cricket.

Under the scenario when Pakistan s batting strength is already weak, Yousufs move to the ICL is a big loss. Although its a great loss to the country, you cant stop anyone from playing privately. Banning Yousuf is not the right step, The News quoted Abbas as saying.

Another former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail also criticized Yousufs move to join ICL, saying it was unethical. The PCB supported him in his fight with the court cases relating to the ICL and he left them in the lurch at a time when Pakistan cricket is in turmoil, he added.

Yousuf converted to Islam and it became his strength but I am sorry to say that he spoiled his image by ditching the country, a country which has given him fame and wealth, said Sohail.

Yousuf, formerly Youhana as a Roman Catholic, converted to Islam in 2005 and has since grown a bushy beard. He also bows in the middle of the pitch to give thanks after he scores a century.

He left for India on Monday, hours after being named in a Pakistan squad to play three ODIs against the West Indies at Abu Dhabi .

The player, from a poor background, was plucked from the obscurity of a tailors shop in the slums of Lahore to play a local match in the mid-1990s. His well-crafted shots attracted attention and he rose through the ranks to become the backbone of Pakistan s batting line-up.
In 2006, he broke the world record of the most runs in a calendar year, scoring 1788. His nine Test hundreds in 2006 is also a record. (ANI)

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