Afridi steps up efforts to bring Yousuf back
Newly-appointed Pakistan Test captain Shahid Afridi is optimistic about Mohammad Yousuf coming out of retirement after speaking to the former skipper's religious elders who can convince him to return.cricket Updated: May 27, 2010 17:07 IST
Afridi was of the view that Pakistan would badly require Yousuf's experience in the challenging tour of England next month where they would play Australia and the hosts in back-to-back series.
"I've talked to Yousuf and I've also talked to a few elders, who can influence him to come out of retirement for the sake of Pakistan," Afridi said. "I'm sure that he would listen to them and change his mind about retiring from international cricket," he said.
"Yousuf is a great batsman and I'm sure that even if he just plays in a couple of warm-up matches before the Test series, he will be ready for the tough assignment. He won't need much time to get ready for the tour. We will certainly need his services in England," Afridi told 'The News'.
The 35-year-old Yousuf had announced his retirement from international cricket earlier this year after the Pakistan Cricket Board banned him for indiscipline following the national team's disastrous tour of Australia. However, Afridi is keen to see Yousuf back in the team in England after the selectors included other banned players, Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik, in the 35-man preliminary squad for the Asia Cup and the subsequent tour of England.
Interestingly, Yousuf himself had yesterday said that he was ready to come out of his retirement only if his "elders" give him the permission. "Yes, Afridi called me up and we spoke at length about the cricket scenario. I told him I took the decision to retire after seeking advice from my elders and I can only take back the retirement decision if my elders give me permission to do this," he had said.
Ever since converting to Islam a few years ago, Yousuf had always sought the advice of his religious elders before taking any important decision of his career.