PCB clears Younus Khan for national duty

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday cleared former captain Younus Khan for the national duty as he will replace injured Muhammad Yousuf in the squad for the One-dayers and Tests against South Africa.

Pakistan chief selector Mohsin Khan announced that Younus has been included in the national squad, after the PCB gave the clearance for selection.

The clearance came after Younus met with PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt earlier on Wednesday in Lahore to resolve a longstanding dispute between the two.

“The PCB Chairman called me up and told Younus is cleared on disciplinary grounds and now it is up to the selectors to decide whether he should be picked in the team for the South Africa series. It is our decision to pick him since we feel he is a big asset to the team,” Mohsin said.

He said Younus would replace Yousuf, who has been ruled out of the ODI and T20 matches against South Africa due to a hamstring injury that requires two-three weeks for recovery.

Meanwhile, Younus told the media in Lahore that the meeting with Butt was held in a cordial atmosphere and all issues had been sorted out.

“I am feeling relieved to be back in the team and I will try to live up to the expectations of the people,” he said.

Sources said the long-awaited meeting between them came after pressure from the government on Butt to resolve the issue as there was lot of criticism over the continued exclusion of the former captain from the team.

“All misunderstandings between the two have been cleared now,” one source said.

PCB Chief had refused to give clearance to the selectors to consider Younus for the last few months although an appellate tribunal had lifted an indefinite ban on the former captain in July.

The PCB had banned or fined seven players including Younus in March for indiscipline and misconduct on the tour to Australia earlier this year.

But the Board refused to clear him as they were unhappy with some of the statements made by Younus and his lawyer.

This resulted in Younus being kept out of the Asia Cup and tour to England and initially he was also not considered for the South Africa series, starting later this month.

The chief selector told a press conference in Karachi that Younus would report for the conditioning camp in Lahore.

“The return of Younus is a good sign for the team as he is a very experienced player and is now free to focus on his cricket,” Mohsin said.

Younus, 32, has played 63 Tests and 202 ODIs and last year led Pakistan to the T20 World Cup title in England.

Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said Yousuf had suffered a hamstring injury in the conditioning camp and it was a grade A injury.

“Yousuf has been advised two-three weeks rest and that is why he is not available for the one-day and T20 matches against South Africa,” he said.