Lahore: Keen to revive his international career, record-breaking 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.
The 37-year-old played the last of his 90 Tests against England at Lord’s in 2010 – a match marred by the spot-fixing scandal involving three of his team-mates.
“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.
Pakistan star-batsman Mohammad Yousuf insisted that he could still compete at the highest level.
Yousuf has not been considered for selection in the last two years because he has not played in domestic matches in Pakistan, but he took part in a workout led by new Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore on Tuesday.
“I have given a fitness test and now the result is in the hands of PCB,” Yousuf told reporters outside the national academy here.
“I am ready to play for my country and still have enough cricket left in me.”
Yousuf rose from a poor background to become one of the most stylish batsmen Pakistan had ever produced, smashing 1,788 Test runs in 2006 – a world record for a calendar year.
His career drifted after the PCB banned him for an indefinite period in March 2010 following the disastrous tour of Australia, which he captained.
The ban was overturned to allow Yousuf a comeback on the 2010 England tour, during which Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were charged and eventually jailed for arranging deliberate no-balls for money.
Yousuf, who has played 288 one-day and three Twenty20 internationals, said he has been playing regular cricket and wanted to feature in the English county championship, though a deal with Leicestershire fell through.
Whatmore said the fitness of all Pakistani players will be assessed before next month’s tour to Sri Lanka.
“The fitness test was designed to give everyone an idea where they stand now and after a prescription of work to re-test and see the improvement,” the coach said.
Pakistan play two Twenty20s, five one-day internationals and three Tests on their tour of Sri Lanka from late May to mid-July.