LAHORE – One of the premier batsmen Pakistan have produced, M Yousuf’s career going to end on a sad note as he was deprived of the playing right from any departmental team in the country’s major domestic tournament, President’s Trophy, underway across the country.
The legendary batsman Yousuf desired to play for Pakistan and was told by the selectors to prove his form and fitness in the domestic cricket and then he will be considered for the selection in the national team. “Since 2010 I have not been representing any domestic team and this time around the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) offered me a slot which I accepted without hesitation,” said Yousuf, who made his test debut in 1998.
The 38-year-old said the PCB had been sitting on a request made by the Port Qasim Authority team to allow them to include him in their squad for the President's Trophy. "I don't understand the attitude of the board authorities. On one hand, the selectors say I must play in domestic cricket to prove my form and fitness and on other hand the board is not giving me clearance to play in the tournament," Yousuf said.
Yousuf was not included in the PQA team as his name provided before the start of competition to the PCB by all the departments taking part in the President’s Trophy. As per the rules a player other than the pre-provided list could not be included in any outfit.
The veteran’s case required change in the rules hence it was bound to get the clearance first from the cricket committee and then from the Executive Coordination Committee of the PCB. Initially, when the domestic season started some banks had given offers to Yousuf but he declined to play for them insisting he couldn't do so because of his religious beliefs. Recently Port Qasim, which is coached by former captain and Yousuf's teammate Rashid Latif, moved a special request with the board that they be allowed to include him in their squad as a special case. "I still want to play first-class cricket and I know I am good enough to make a comeback to international cricket. But I am waiting for a response from the board," he added.  Pakistan will proceed to India on December 22 for three ODIs and two Twenty20 matches series and Yousuf’s inclusion would prove beneficial for the team and will boost the series winning chances.
PCB chief Zaka Ashraf must think of Yousuf’s inclusion in the squad to strengthen Pakistan and brighten series victory chances. Yousuf is a team man and can prove beneficial for the youngsters.
A source in the board revealed that Yousuf's case was under consideration as it was a special one. "But there are certain rules and regulations we have to adhere to in domestic cricket," the source said and added: "The special permission can only be given by the Executive Coordination Committee of the PCB.”
On the other hand, Port Qasim Authority coach Rashid Latif said what surprised him was that the PCB authorities have not even bothered to respond to the department. "We had sent the request to the Director-General cricket, Javed Miandad and the board should at least respond and say yes or no," he said.
"This is not the way to treat a legendary player like M Yousuf," Latif said.
According to Rashid Latif, by not even replying to the formal request made to the Director General Javed Miandad, the PCB rubbed the legendry batsman the wrong way. “I sent a letter to Miandad on October 30, and in any event, the PCB should have at least replied. This is not the way to treat a legendry player like M Yousuf”, Latif concluded.