Yousuf blames international calender for Pakistan's inconsistency

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Lahore, Jul 17 (UNI) Dispelling suggestions that Pakistan has lost the sting to beat quality oppositions, middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf blamed the amount of cricket being played these days and defended his team's inadequacy to beat the tougher side as a ''part and parcel of the game''.

Earlier this month, Pakistan failed to reach the final of the Asia Cup where they lost to India and Sri Lanka in crucial matches despite having the home advantage.

The wins against Hong Kong and Bangladesh, and later against India, mattered little as the host's history of poor performances in the contest continued.

''Winning and losing is part of the game,'' he said.

''We lost crucial encounters (against India and Sri Lanka), where we failed to score 300 and paid the penalty. It was a flat pitch and scoring 300 was like 250 any other day but for our failure to do so, especially against the Indian bowlers, and lost both key matches,'' he explained.

He also pointed out that the amount of cricket that is being played these days is very much responsible for his side's inconsistent performance, which is something that he believes is not unusual.

''However, with the amount of cricket we are playing nowadays, it's not a big deal to be losing matches. We win some, we lose some. It happens in cricket,'' he added.

Though Yousuf has pulled out of the upcoming Champions Trophy, he is still hopeful that Pakistan will produce a much-improved performance in the tournament that is scheduled to begin in September this year.

''We have home advantage and a good team and due to that I think, we will perform well in the Champions Trophy,'' he added.

The veteran Pakistani batsman is also hopeful that his long hounding IPL-ICL saga will come to an end after he lend all the powers to the PCB to deal with the issue.

''When I opted out of the ICL and signed for IPL, the board told me they will take care of everything and that I will be cleared to play in the IPL.

''However, as we all know, that is yet to be done. I don't have anything on me, I passed on all details to the board and it probably has more updates on the situation than me,'' Yousuf said.

However, he is still unsure whether he will be able to play for any of the IPL teams in the Twenty20 tournament's next edition.

''I can't understand why it is taking so long after what I was told initially and now I don't even know whether I'll be able to play in the next edition of the IPL or not, especially after it (the board) told me I have a three-year contract which will continue for that duration,'' he said.

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