I had no role in Yousuf leaving to play for Lahore: Rana Naved

Lahore: Pakistan allrounder Rana Naved has finally broken his silence on his alleged fight with former captain and senior batsman, Muhammad Yousuf that led to the latter leaving the Wapda team in the middle of the ongoing domestic season and joining the Lahore team for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches.

Rana who has been captaining the Wapda team said on Sunday that he had no direct dispute with either Yousuf or Test discard Shabbir Ahmed who also left Wapda and joined Lahore.

Media reports said that the decision by Yousuf and Shabbir to leave Wapda was prompted after a dispute with Rana who was recently ignored by the selectors for the tour to New Zealand.

“I think these reports are misleading there was never any direct clash between me and Yousuf. I respect him a lot as he is my senior and a great player,” Rana said.

He explained that Yousuf had issues with the Wapda management and had decided to leave them. He said apparently the Pakistan Cricket Board had told Yousuf to rest for one month after he returned from Dubai with an injury that forced him out of the Test series against South Africa last month.

“I think the board’s medical panel had advised Yousuf not to risk aggravating his injury by playing immediately in domestic cricket. They had also sent an advisory to Wapda who decided that Yousuf required a month’s rest but he didn’t agree and wanted to play in the Quaid Trophy matches and that led to the dispute,” Rana said.

He said that he didn’t even have any talk to Yousuf on the issue and only came to know that the senior batsman had left Wapda later on.

“Why would I as captain want to lose a top player like Yousuf?”

He said in the case of Shabbir he had some demands with the Wapda management and they didn’t work out so he left something which he had been planning to do for a while now.

Yousuf who has played 90 Tests for his country was left out of the national T20 and Test squads announced for the New Zealand tour last week by the selectors and has since then declined to speak on his omission.

The selectors after initially announcing a 14-member Test squad later included young batsman, Khurrum Manzoor to the squad virtually putting to an end any chances of a comeback for Yousuf later on.

Rana himself since having a ban lifted recently has been performing well in domestic cricket in a bid to win back his place in the national team but was again overlooked by the selectors.

“It is disappointing but I am ready to fight on and keep on performing in domestic cricket as right now my priority is to see Wapda do well.......

“I am confident that sooner or later when the time comes, I will get my chance. I am in great shape even now at 32 and I am feeling confident and I know I can still contribute to Pakistan team.”

He further added, “I will be going to Australia again this season to play T20 cricket for Tasmania in the big bash and that will be another opportunity for me to remind the selectors that I am still around.”