Pakistan consider Yousuf recall
Mohammad Yousuf could be recalled by Pakistan for their forthcoming Test series against England.
Last Updated: 19/07/10 7:35pm
Pakistan are considering bringing back Mohammad Yousuf for the Test series against England.
Yousuf is willing to return to the international fold after six months in the wildnerness.
The 35-year-old, who has scored 7,431 runs in 88 Tests, was banned for life by the Pakistan Cricket Board in March along with fellow veteran Younus Khan after a disastrous tour of Australia.
Yousuf retired from international cricket in protest at the harsh sanctions but, with the bans imposed since lifted, the path could now be clear for a return.
The matter has taken on greater significance since Pakistan's 150-run defeat by Australia in the first Test at Lord's last week.
Captain Shahid Afridi announced his sudden retirement after that match and the middle order has an inexperienced look with Azhar Ali and Umar Amin at three and four respectively.
Yousuf will not be drafted in before the second Test against Australia begins at Headingley on Wednesday but the England series, starting at Trent Bridge on July 29, is now a distinct possibility.
"He can replace Afridi but the management haven't decided yet who will come," said assistant coach Ijaz Ahmed.
"It could come out in a couple of days.
"Maybe later, somebody will come but not at the moment."
A return for Younus, who has been playing county cricket at Surrey, is also possible but Yousuf seems the more likely at present.
"These are the only two players we are talking about, Younus Khan and Yousuf," added Ijaz.
"Let's see, it might be decided about Yousuf. Yousuf might be coming here."
Meanwhile, Ijaz confirmed Salman Butt has received the full backing of the players and board as he leads the side for the first time in the second Test.
The opening batsman steps into the breach after Shahid Afridi, who announced his retirement from Test cricket after the first Test defeat, was ruled out of the Headingley match with a side strain.
"He is looking forward to it, it is a great honour to be captain of your country," said Ijaz.
"The management and all the players are going to back him in this Test and the future Tests against England.
"I think it is going to be a test for him but great players always come out and handle the pressure.
"I think he is getting mature and now he has got the responsibility as well. I think he will come out good for that.
"He will have a fair chance to prove himself as a captain. I hope he will do well and become captain for a longer period for Pakistan."