`Disappointed` Yousuf vows to make strong comeback
Karachi: Former captain Mohammad Yousuf was left disappointed but vowed to come back stronger after being ignored for Pakistan`s 15-member World Cup squad, announced by the selectors without a captain.
Yousuf, a veteran of 90 tests and 288 ODIs, was named in the preliminary squad of 30 players for the quadrennial event but national selectors decided to show faith in youngster Asad Shafiq, who is captaining the Lahore team in the ongoing national ODI.
Yousuf, while accepting the decision of the selectors, said he will keep giving his best no matter how limited the opportunities are.
"It is all in the hands of God. If he doesn`t want me to play this World Cup I will not play," said Yousuf.
"I am very disappointed because I was looking forward to playing in this World Cup as it would be my last. I was also feeling confident and in good nick for the tournament. But only the selectors can explain why they didn`t consider me for final selection," said the maverick batsman.
Sources said that the selectors were not happy with the present fitness of Yousuf, who was also dropped for the tour to New Zealand.
Earlier, before the team announcement, Yousuf had told mediapersons that he wanted to play in the World Cup that begins in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19.
"I don`t think age is a bar for any player. Misbah is still going strong at 36 and I am also playing well and scoring runs. I am fit so why can`t I play the World Cup," he
Yousuf, who has featured in Pakistan`s last three World Cup campaigns, said he would continue to play the national one-day tournament for Lahore as cricket remained his passion.
Meanwhile, former chief selectors, Abdul Qadir and Iqbal Qasim felt that the omission of Yousuf from the squad was not a big surprise.
"I think the fact that the team already has two very seasoned batsmen in the middle order in the shape of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq plus the youngsters like Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad are also coming up well would have influenced the selectors to go in without Yousuf," said Qasim.
He described the selected squad as a balanced one.
Qadir said the selectors had taken the correct decision to ignore Yousuf.
"The present team is an ideal blend of experience and youth and I don`t think Yousuf has been in the best of fitness in recent months," said Qadir.
But former captain, Rashid Latif felt that the selectors should have gambled with Yousuf in the World Cup.
"He is too good a player to be ignored for such a big event where experience and the ability to play the spinners well on turning tracks will matter a lot. Yousuf I think is one of the best players of spin and that is why he deserved a place in the final squad," Latif said.