PCB yet to de­cide on Afridi and Yousuf's do­mes­tic par­tic­i­pa­tion

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

LAHORE

The Pak­istan Cricket Board (PCB) is de­lib­er­at­ing whether bats­man Mo­ham­mad Yousuf and all­rounder Shahid Afridi can play in the Pres­i­dent's Tro­phy, a do­mes­tic first-class tour­na­ment.

Both play­ers have ex­pressed a de­sire to play the tour­na­ment, in a bid to work their way back into top form, but were not reg­is­tered in the teams' prob­a­ble lists for the tour­na­ment.

Afridi, who is strug­gling for form, is look­ing to play for Habib Bank Lim­ited to pre­pare for the lim­ited-overs se­ries against In­dia next month.

Yousuf, who hasn't played any cricket since June last year due to per­sonal rea­sons, was keen to make a come­back to the na­tional team and was asked by the se­lec­tors to play do­mes­tic cricket first.

Port Qasim Author­ity, one of the do­mes­tic teams, was in­tent on re­cruit­ing Yousuf and, on Oc­to­ber 30, had ap­plied for him to be reg­is­tered with them.

How­ever, the dead­line for the teams' pre­lim­i­nary prob­a­ble list was Septem­ber 24, the board said, and both play­ers were not on those lists.

The PCB's cricket com­mit­tee or the PCB chair­man, though, can still pro­vide spe­cial per­mis­sion to en­sure their par­tic­i­pa­tion.

"We have re­ceived ap­pli­ca­tions from both of them," the PCB spokesman, Nadeem Sar­war, told ESPNcricinfo.

"The cricket com­mit­tee has con­sid­ered their ap­pli­ca­tion and will take a de­ci­sion soon, be­fore the next round [of the Pres­i­dent's Tro­phy starts."

Yousuf, a vet­eran of 90 Tests, lamented the de­lay. "On one hand, the PCB tells me to prove my form and fit­ness on the do­mes­tic cir­cuit, but on the other, they do not al­low me to do so," he said.

"In re­cent do­mes­tic tour­na­ments] I have not been rep­re­sent­ing any team.

This time around, Port Qasim Author­ity of­fered me a slot that I read­ily ac­cepted."

Had the PCB sanc­tioned Yousuf's par­tic­i­pa­tion soon af­ter his ap­pli­ca­tion was filed, he would have played the tour­na­ment from the fifth round on­wards.

The sixth round is cur­rently un­der­way, and there­after there are three of nine rounds re­main­ing, apart from the fi­nal. Afridi is look­ing to play the fi­nal two rounds of the tour­na­ment.

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