‘Test cricket is the pinnacle of success’ - Mohammad Yousuf

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  1. chandtara
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    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
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    Manama : Former Pakistan test cricketer Mohammed Yousef, who is currently visiting Bahrain, says that test cricket is the pinnacle of success in the sport, while T20 is ‘more entertainment’ for the masses.

    The 41-year-old veteran from Lahore represented his country on 90 occasions in test matches and says, “Playing in test matches, you have to be mentally and physically alert and have the ability to last for five enduring days, whereas T20 is a three-hour bash and entertainment for the casual spectators and frankly I’m not that enthusiastic about it, as it stunts development and the way players play this form and means different styles of play.”

    He also says that players such as the West Indian great Sir Garfield Sobers, Australia’s Steve Waugh and Pakistan legend Imran Khan have expressed concern that T20 Cricket in particular seems to be taking over and lessening the importance of test and ODIs.

    Yousef is here in Bahrain at the invitation of Mujtaba Nazir, Director of Cricket Developments and Events at the Bahrain Cricket League, he has already visited the Pakistan Club to inaugurate its Ramadan Cricket Tournament on Thursday night and will attend a number of cricketing and religious functions. He will meet his compatriots and the cricket fraternity in Bahrain, with the highlight of the visit being tonight when he will be the guest of honour at a dinner in the Ramada Palace Hotel in Gudaibiya, before he leaves tomorrow.

    Yousef became interested in cricket when as a youngster. He was influenced by his elder brothers Tariq and Jameel and watching on TV and the exploits of compatriots Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-Ul-Haq.

    “I never dreamed that one day I would represent my country and captain it, which has been a great honour for me and play so many matches.”

    He began his first class career in the domestic Quaid-e-Azam competition playing for Bahwalalpur back in 1996 and represented various other teams in Lahore.

    Aside from his 90 test matches scoring 7,530 runs at an average of 52.29 with a high score of 223 which included 24 centuries and 33 50s.

    His 288 ODI’s yielded 9,720 runs with an average of 41.71 with a top score of 141 not out and 15 centuries.

    Looking back at his two stints in England, he says the English conditions were great for his game and loved playing their firstly with Lancashire in 2008, saying “I played with some great players including Australian Stuart Law, the legendary Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson who is still doing his stuff now, after a very impressive bowling display in the recent first test match against Sri Lanka and South African Faf Du Plessis. I also played with highly talented players at Warwickshire with the likes of England’s Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Chris Woakes.”

    Yousef has created quite a few records in his time and one of them was being the first non-muslim to captain his country on the 2004-05 tour to Australia and scoring a century on Boxing Day before converting to Islam in 2005. He was also the fifth non-muslim player to represent Pakistan at test level.

    Other achievements include scoring test centuries against the other nine nations, breaking the calendar record for most runs scored (1,788) in 11 tests and breaking a 30-year old record held by West Indian Vivian Richards in 2006 and scoring a record nine centuries.

    He also equalled the record held by Australian Donald Bradman of six successive centuries in tests. However, he took only five matches to achieve this feat compared to Bradman’s six. In 2002, he scored 405 runs across four ODI innings between two dismissals.

    This is the first time Yousef has been to Bahrain. He says, “I am impressed with what I’ve seen, it looks a great country to live in, everyone I have met have been very friendly, it is nice and green and the weather has been great.”


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