Yousuf misses Champions Trophy
Mohammad Yousuf has opted out of the Champions Trophy but Shoaib Akhtar is named Pakistan's 30-man probables list.
Last Updated: 15/07/08 5:06pm
Pakistan middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf has opted out of the Champions Trophy to observe the rules of fasting and prayer during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The 33-year-old has strictly followed the Muslim faith ever since he converted from Christianity in 2005 and has often stated that he would avoid playing during Ramadan, which this year runs from September 1 to September 30.
The tournament is scheduled to be held in Pakistan between September 11 to 28.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has accepted Yousuf's request, even though he is their most experienced batsman, with 9,242 runs from 269 one-day internationals.
"We have received a request from Yousuf that he wants a Ramadan break," Shafqat Naghmi, PCB chief operating officer told the News.
"The board respects his feelings and has decided to accept his request."
Meanwhile, Mohammad Asif has been dropped from the PCB's list of 30 probables for the tournament after failing a drugs test during the Indian Premier League.
"Asif has failed a dope test so he cannot play for Pakistan till that matter is resolved," Naghmi said.
Shoaib Akhtar has, however, been included after obtaining an injunction at the Lahore High Court to suspend his 18-month ban until a full hearing is held in September.
The fast bowler was intially handed a five-year ban by the PCB for repeated violations of their code of conduct, a sanction that was reduced to 18 months on appeal.
The preliminary squad will be cut down to a final 15 on August 11.
Pakistan 30-man squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Misbah-ul-Haq (vice-captain), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Khalid Latif, Khurrum Manzoor, Ahmed Shahzad, Yasir Hameed, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Bazid Khan, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Arafat, Mansoor Amjad, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Mohammad Ali, Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Khan, Abdur Rauf, Wahab Riaz, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Amir, Kamran Akmal, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Abdul Rehman, Saeed Ajmal