Lahore: Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf has been told to appear for a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy on Tuesday. Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that national team coach Dav Whatmore, after consulting the chief selector, has decided to put Yousuf through his paces. "Yousuf has been practicing at the national academy for the last one week and Whatmore wants to know whether the 37-year-old batsman is still fit enough to play at the top level," a source said.
The coach has also called up Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Aizaz Cheema, Mohammad Irfan and Sohail Tanvir. "Whatmore and fielding coach Julian Fountain recently conducted fitness tests of all the players and those who could not attend the first session have been asked to appear tomorrow," the source said.
Yousuf has not played for Pakistan since 2010 despite being one of the country's top batsmen in Tests and one-day internationals. He has scored 7530 runs in 90 Tests and 9720 runs in 288 one-dayers with a total of 39 international centuries. Last week, Yousuf had said he was still confident of serving the country for a few more years. "I am ready to play for Pakistan anytime whenever the selectors want me because there is no doubt whatever I am today is because of Pakistan."
The veteran batsman can return to Pakistan ranks if his fitness is up to the mark, according to PCB sources.
Another source said that Whatmore was of the view that some of the senior players, who were discarded by the selectors in recent times, could still serve Pakistan cricket if their fitness level was up to the required mark for international cricket. "We have to wait and see because there are number of players who fit into all three formats of the game."