Yousuf Gets a Chance to Make Cut for World Cup Probables

By Omar Khalid

Karachi, Dec 20 (IANS) Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has now a chance to prove his fitness and make the cut for his country's World Cup squad after the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) time up to January 5 to announce its 30-man provisional squad.

The PCB had asked the ICC to extend the deadline while it sought information from Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneria who are being investigated for their alleged links with bookies. The ICC accepted the request and extended the deadline from Dec 19 to Jan 5.

Though the fate of the trio hangs in the balance, Yousuf intends to make use of this extra time to prove his fitness and become a member of Pakistan's World Cup squad. Also in contention for a berth in the team is all-rounder Sohail Tanvir, who was also not in the picture for Pakistan's selection because of suspect fitness.

Both Yousuf and Tanvir were almost overlooked for the 30-man squad, which was finalised during a series of meetings before its announcement was deferred due to the players' clearance issue last week.

The selectors are now looking to assess the fitness of Yousuf and Tanvir who were not selected for the New Zealand assignment.

"We will not just sit and wait for the green signal by the PCB but also avail the given time given to mull over other options," a selector told The Express Tribune.

"It is a good opportunity for players like Yousuf and Tanvir to show their fitness before the final selection."

Yousuf, who returned home from the UAE during the series against South Africa following a groin injury, was overlooked for the Twenty20 and the Test series in New Zealand.

Tanvir, who has not played a One-Day International since May last year due to fitness issues, was selected in the Test and Twenty20 squad but was dropped at the eleventh hour after he failed to recover from a knee injury.

However, the selector said both the players will be given a chance and may undergo a fitness test before the squad announcement.

"We want to select the best team and we will look for every option, including Tanvir and Yousuf. The duo would be under the scanner and may go through a fitness test before the squad selection."



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Title: Yousuf Gets a Chance to Make Cut for World Cup Probables

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