Karachi: Pakistan's chief selector, Iqbal Qasim has clarified that the senior batsman Younis Khan and pace bowler Umar Gul should not consider their international careers over as they would be needed for national duty again.
The national selection committee has rested Younis and Gul for the One-day series against Australia. And while the former no longer plays Twenty20 cricket, the latter has been picked in the Pakistan squad for the T20 World Cup.
"They remain valuable players for us. They have just been rested for the One-day series against Australia as we will be playing some tough series in the next few months and we need them back to their best," Qasim said on Wednesday.
Iqbal Qasim says that Younis Khan and Umar Gul are rested, not axed, and both figure in future plans of the team.
Younis, 34, was left out of the side after struggling for runs in the recent series against Sri Lanka. But the former captain has avoided giving any reaction in the media after his ousted from the squad.
"It is a wrong impression we dropped them. They are senior players and we just want them to take a break and come aback afresh with their confidence high," Qasim, a former Test spinner, said.
He said that the selectors wanted Younis to sort out his batting issues and also felt that Gul had been playing non stop cricket. "He is a pace bowler and tries very hard and he is not getting his line and length right because of fatigue perhaps.
We have advised him to go to the national academy and train there and work out his bowling problems. "There is no doubt we need both of them for the upcoming tours to India and South Africa. They figure very much in our plans," he said.
But the chief selector also made it clear that the selectors wanted to put more responsibility and give more exposure to young batsmen and bowlers like Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Junaid Khan and the uncapped Anwar Ali.
"All these players feature in our plans for the next World Cup and we want to see how they cope with the responsibility in the absence of seniors like Younis and Gul."
Qasim also pointed out that the selectors had recalled Shoaib Malik to the One-day squad to add some experience, while Anwar Ali was selected because he had come through the ranks and performed well in all formats of the game. "It is time to see how he stands up to the demands of international cricket," he said.
Sources close to the chief selector, meanwhile, told PTI that Qasim, before announcing the squad, had spoken to Younis. "Qasim told him that the selectors wanted him to take a break from the game and practice and get back into the runs," the source said. "Qasim conveyed clearly to Younis that the selectors wanted him to perform like a senior player and get big scores," he added.