Yousuf, Younus unlikely to join team in England: Sources
Karachi: Chances of former captains Mohd Yousuf and Younus Khan joining Pakistan side for the Test series against England have faded as the team management are keen to persist with youngsters after the victory over Australia in the second Test at Leeds.
Reliable sources said the Test win at Leeds had made the stronger the stand of the team management not to tinker with the winning squad although there was pressure on the Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ijaz Butt to recall the two senior players.
Captain Salman Butt also gave an indication of his feeling to continue with the young squad when he said the rare victory over Australia was the beginning of a new era for Pakistan cricket.
Sources in the PCB said there had been no move to prepare travel documents for either Yousuf or Younus and process their visa applications though the first Test against England begins from July 29.
"This is an indication that it is unlikely these two will be sent to England to join the team immediately," the source stated.
Both Yousuf and Younus were banned for indefinite periods in March by the Board after an inquiry into the troubled tour to Australia early in the year.
Yousuf preferred to retire from international cricket but Younus appealed and had the ban removed.
Yousuf, who captained Pakistan in Australia, said last week that he had spoken to the PCB chairman and was ready to come out of retirement to play for Pakistan.
Media reports also suggested both the former captains had started training to prepare for a call up.
"But now the tide has turned because captain Salman Butt, coach Waqar Younis, manager Yawar Saeed and other coaching staff were more in favour of persisting with the young players and didn`t want Yousuf or Younus back," the source told reporters.
"The team management believes that it is better to groom the new players instead of recalling the former captains. The feeling is that they are past their best for Pakistan," the source added.
Chief selector Mohsin Khan said while he personally felt Younus and Yousuf still have three to four years of cricket left in them but they would only be selected after confirming their fitness and form.
"The same rule applies on them as for other players and we must keep in mind Yousuf has not played cricket for a while now," he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan tour selectors are finding themselves in a dilemma on the future of Shoaib Malik as a Test player. He didn`t make any significant contribution in the second Test and sources said the team management might request a replacement of the former captain.