The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) seems to be caught in a ‘catch 22 situation’, as it has once again appealed to former skipper Mohammed Yousuf to come out of retirement and file an appeal against the indefinite ban imposed on him, so that it can be lifted paving his way for a comeback.
Yousuf had retired from all forms of cricket in protest against the ban and a two million rupee fine imposed by the PCB following a probe into Pakistan’s terrible performance during the Australia tour earlier this year.
Now, as the national team awaits some major assignments, the PCB wants experienced Yousuf back in the squad, but it does not want to go out of the way to revoke his punishment, which could add to its embarrassment.
According to PCB insiders, board chairman Ijaz Butt has made it clear that if Yousuf files an appeal against the ban, it would be lifted immediately as it has been the case with Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan, who were also banned.
“He (Yousuf) is still a world class batsman and has some years of cricket left in him. The national team requires him and he should reconsider his retirement decision,” The Daily Times quoted Butt, as saying.
Justice (retired) Irfan Qadir, who is heading the PCB’s appellate tribunal, has also asked the board to reconsider Yousuf’s ban.
“When the bans and fines have been removed from other players, Yousuf’s appeal can also be considered. I would even say that the board in the interest of the national team must convince Yousuf to forget the past and comeback,” Qadir said.
However, Yousuf himself appears confused about his future.
He has ruled out playing in upcoming Test series against England, but indicated that he might come out of retirement for the series against South Africa, which would be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in October.
“I am not sure when I will be ready for international cricket. The South Africa series is a possibility and I won’t rule myself out of that series, but of course things are not always that simple. I need to have a long and hard think about things and then come to a decision,” Yousuf had said earlier. (ANI)