Did threat from ICL keep Yousuf away from first Test?
Mohammad Yousuf’s last-minute withdrawal from the playing line-up ignited speculations that the player was forced to stay away from the match after receiving threats from the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
Yousuf, however, denied that his decision to sit out of the Karachi Test match had anything to do with the ICL issue. When pressed by the reporters, Yousuf said that they should ask the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about the issue.
“The PCB officials have told me they would help me deal with the ICL so it is better if you talk to them,” he added.
Yousuf, however, insisted that he did nothing wrong and promised to make his return to the team by playing in the second and last Test getting underway in Lahore from October 8. Yousuf said that he pulled out of the first Test due to lack of “match fitness”.
Yousuf (33) signed a lucrative contract with the ICL, but was recently lured into signing a central contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) by the Board’s chairman Nasim Ashraf. Meanwhile, the PCB saw nothing wrong in Yousuf’s surprise withdrawal from the opening Test’s playing eleven.
“It was unfortunate for the (Pakistan) team that Yousuf had to opt out of the Test at the last minute,” PCB spokesman, Dr Ahsan Hameed Malik, said.
“But the player took the decision after realising that he was not fully fit and cannot contribute to the team’s cause the way he should. We believe that Yousuf really wanted to play in the match but later decided to sit out after becoming aware that he needs more match fitness,” Malik added.
Malik denied speculations that Yousuf’s withdrawal could be linked to his links with the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
“ICL has nothing to do with it,” The News quoted Malik, As saying.