Yousuf to give Champions Trophy a miss because of Ramadan

July 14th, 2008 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, July 14 (IANS) Pakistan have decided to rest Mohammad Yousuf for this September’s Champions Trophy after the senior batsman requested a break during the holy month of Ramadan. A senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said Monday that the board has accepted a request from Yousuf, who said he doesn’t want to play cricket during the fasting month to focus on his prayers. The Champions Trophy scheduled to be held in Pakistan will clash with Ramadan.

“We received a request from Yousuf that he wants a Ramadan break,” Shafqat Naghmi, PCB’s chief operating officer, told IANS. “The board has decided to accept his request,” he added.

Yousuf, 33, converted to Islam from Christianity in 2005 and has since become a staunch Muslim. He prays five times a day and observes Ramadan with religious zeal.

Pakistan are now looking for a replacement of Yousuf, who is their most experienced batsman with 9242 runs from 269 One-Day Internationals. He also has 15 ODI centuries.It is likely that Pakistan will recall discarded all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez to fill in for Yousuf in the Chammpions Trophy.

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