PCB to decide on Yousuf’s inclusion for Sri Lanka tour

May 28th, 2009 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid
Karachi, May 28 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is weighing options of recalling the country’s premier batsman Mohammad Yousuf for this summer’s tour of Sri Lanka.

PCB sources Thursday said Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, will soon hold a meeting in Lahore to discuss the Yousuf issue with the senior officials.

Butt returned home early Thursday after a tour of South Africa and UAE where he went to garner support for Pakistan’s campaign aimed at regaining its right to host 2011 World Cup matches.

Butt told reporters that the PCB is keeping its options open as far as recalling Yousuf and other Pakistani cricketers, who defected to the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL), is concerned.

Yousuf and other leading ICL rebels from Pakistan, including all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, parted ways with the ICL and submitted ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the Twenty20 League saying the players have terminated their contract with the league.

“Yousuf is one of Pakistan’s leading batsmen and would like to have him back,” said Butt. “But we will have to follow procedures and will take a decision about his inclusion in the national team soon,” he added.

Pakistan team management and national selectors are keen to include Yousuf for the tour to Sri Lanka starying June 27. Pakistan is to play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 game in what will be its first full series in almost 20 months.

The team’s brittle batting line-up is a cause of concern for the Pakistani camp which is hoping that Yousuf will return to bolster it for the tough assignment in Sri Lanka.

Sources said that the PCB is taking its time in making a decision because it fears a backlash from the international cricket community especially from India and the International Cricket Council (ICC) in case Yousuf is recalled without being punished for defecting.

Some senior PCB officials have advised Butt to fine the ICL rebels before taking them back in the fold. Others are calling for the option of a 12-month cooling period as suggested initially by some of the other boards.

Yousuf meanwhile is desperate to find a place in the national side.

“It will be great if I’m allowed to make a comeback in international cricket with the series against Sri Lanka,” said Yousuf.

“I have submitted a no-objection certificate from the ICL and it’s now up to the PCB to clear my way to play international cricket.”

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