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Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Saturday, 2 May 2009 16:27 UK

Yousuf targets Pakistan comeback

Mohammad Yousuf
Yousuf's return will strengthen the Pakistan batting line-up

Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has ended his association with the Indian Cricket League in the hope of resuming his international career.

"I have always said I am keen to play for my country if I am given the chance," the 34-year-old commented.

"The country comes first and the board has offered to let me play for Pakistan once I leave the ICL."

Yousuf has scored more than 16,000 runs for Pakistan but has not played for the national side since July last year.

He was a member of the Lahore Badshahs team which won the ICL title last November.

But the Pakistan Cricket Board recently offered players the chance to return to international cricket if they ended their association with the unsanctioned league.

Yousuf said his original decision to join the ICL was made because of differences with former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, who has now been replaced by Younus Khan.

606: DEBATE

"I had a problem with the captain at that time, so I left. I had issues with the previous board administration as well.

"Now, I have no problems at all with Younus Khan or this board," he added.

Yousuf hopes he could make his international comeback in next month's ICC World Twenty20 in England tournament, even though he was not named in a provisional 30-man squad.

His announcement came only hours after the current Pakistan team was heavily criticised following an eight-wicket defeat by Australia in Abu Dhabi.

Former wicketkeeper Moin Khan blamed the team's poor form on lack of competition for places, while former fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz said the players were not fit enough.

Coach Intikhab Alam, however, said a lack of competitive cricket in recent months was the main reason for them trailing 3-1 in the five-match series.

"They have been playing regular cricket for the last six months, and were playing against top teams," he said.

"We didn't have much cricket but I am hopeful that after this series we will learn and be better."



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see also
Bollinger fizz hands Aussies win
01 May 09 |  Cricket
India offers ICL players amnesty
30 Apr 09 |  Cricket
ICC shuns rebel Twenty20 league
18 Apr 09 |  Cricket
Pakistan ban Yousuf for ICL move
05 Nov 08 |  Pakistan


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