Malik, Yousuf''s Bangladesh venture irks Pakistani selectors

Karachi, Feb 4 (PTI) Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf''sdecision to play in the Bangladesh Cricket League has irkedthe Pakistani selectors, who feel instead of venturing abroadthe former captains'' focus should have been on the ongoingdomestic season to earn their place back in the national team.

Sources close to the selectors said they were surprisedby the players'' move at time when they should have beenfighting hard to regain their place in the Pakistan team afterbeing ignored for the upcoming World Cup.

Malik was not cleared for selection by the integritycommittee of the Pakistan Cricket Board while Yousuf wasignored for the ongoing New Zealand tour and for the World Cupbecause of suspected fitness problems.

"Why think about going to Bangladesh in the first placewhen the domestic season is on and any performance will countfor both the players in their bid to make a comeback in thenational team," one source closed to the selectors said.

The source said that the selectors would speak to PCBabout Malik''s decision to play in Bangladesh when domesticone-day championship was in progress.

Interestingly, after rejecting Malik''s applicationinitially, the PCB later gave permission to the cricketer togo and play in Bangladesh.

The source also noted that Yousuf had gone to play inBangladesh even before Pakistan''s World Cup was finalised.

"His (Yousuf) preference to play in Bangladesh overdomestic cricket may have gone against him during the WorldCup team selection," he said.

"Yousuf''s decision to play in Bangladesh at that timeleft the selectors feeling he was giving more preference tomoney rather than the country," he added.

Yousuf, one of Pakistan''s most celebrated and seniorcricketers, was also banned and fined during a domesticone-day match recently for leaving the venue early andviolating the PCB dress code.

But sources close to both the players claim that they hadlost faith in the selectors.

"Look Malik played diligently in the Quaid-e-Azam trophyfor PIA and also in the final and was a top performer in thecompetition yet he was overlooked because the board didn''tgive him clearance.

"So why shouldn''t he go now and make some extra money inthe Bangladesh league," one source said.

Similarly, another source close to Yousuf said that theformer captain felt dejected after being snubbed from theWorld Cup-bound Pakistan team despite scoring runs in thenational one-day championship.

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