LAHORE - Pakistan’s legendary batsman M Yousuf has said that he is keen to help Lahore Lions to win the tournament and qualify for the next year’s Champions League Twenty20, it has been learnt.

“I’m looking forward to do well in the tournament to prove my credentials and lead the Lahore Lions to the best of my abilities to qualify for the next year’s Champions League Twenty20 event. He would try his best to clinch the tournament for Lahore Lions,” he said.

Yousuf is geared up to perform well in the upcoming domestic national Twenty20 tournament to be played in National Stadium Karachi from December 2 to 10 and is hopeful to once again get a place in national team for the tours of India and South Africa.

The right-handed batsman is considered to be one of the best players produced by the country, having scored more than 17,000 runs at the highest level of the sport, with the help of 39 centuries and 97 half-centuries.

The 38-year-old cricketer has been out of international cricket since 2010, as he returned home from United Arab Emirates before the start of the Test series because of fitness problems. The stylish batsman later failed to convince national selectors about his form and fitness.

Having missed previous domestic season for unknown reasons, the great batsman is all set to return to competitive cricket in the upcoming Twenty20 tournament, where he will be leading Lahore Lions.

Pakistan’s chief selector Iqbal Qasim reportedly has also hinted while talking to reporters earlier this month that the Green Shirts may require the services of great batsman during the upcoming tour of South Africa, where conditions are heavily in favour of fast bowling.

Yousuf understands that his job is just to perform well in domestic cricket and his return to global stage will be decided by the selectors. “My aim is to return to international cricket by proving my form and fitness. I can’t say if I’ll be selected for the series against India or South Africa as it’s up to the selection committee and the Pakistan Cricket Board,” Yousuf added.

It looks unlikely that the right-hander will be given a chance in the limited-over formats with many young batsmen making their mark in international cricket since the last couple of years.

             – HAROON SIDDIQUI