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No greater pride than playing for country: Yousuf

cricket Updated: May 30, 2009 11:19 IST
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Welcoming the announcement by the cricket authorities that they can play for the national team again, Pakistan's senior Test players Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq have said there was no greater pride than playing for the country.

The two players with a combined experience of 125 Tests and 500 one-day internationals between them were on Friday cleared by the Pakistan Board to play for the national team again and are expected to make the squad for the Test tour of Sri Lanka from June 27.

The PCB said they would be considered for the national team again because the Indian Cricket League had accepted their resignations and they were free to play for any other team now.

"It is a great relief to be cleared to play for Pakistan again because I have missed the competition that is available while playing for your country," Yousuf said.

The senior batsman said he was targeting the tour of Sri Lanka and would start training soon for the series.

"I had given my resignation to the Board sometime back and finally the ICL has accepted it," he added.

Yousuf said he had spoken to captain Younis Khan and was looking forward to playing for Pakistan again.

"What happened in the past is now in the past. My experience with the ICL was a short one but there is no greater pride then playing for your country," he said.

Razzaq, who is leading the Lahore Lions team in the final of the National T20 championship, said he was relieved the ICL matter was now resolved.

"I had resigned from the league sometime back but they gave a NOC recently. But I have always said I always wanted to play for Pakistan it was the Board decision to not allow us to play for the national team," he said.

Razzaq said his aim was to get into the Pakistan team for all forms of the game including T20 cricket.

"It is disappointing to miss the T20 World Cup but I am looking forward to the Sri Lanka tour and the Champions Trophy this year," he said.

Razzaq said he had a good relation with the ICL and there were no hard feelings when he resigned.

"They understand the situation and they never stopped us from playing for our country they looked after us well," he said.

He played down the issue of outstanding payments and said it was not a big matter as the ICl was a reputable organisation.