Mohammad Yousuf expressed his excitement and enthusiasm as he started his second innings with Pakistan cricket after resuming the role of batting consultant here at the National High Performance Centre (NHPC).
Talking to media at NHPC, the master batsman of the past said together with the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Ijaz Ahmed, Nadeem Khan and Younis Khan, he aims to help Pakistan cricket rediscover the old form and magic.
“I am excited to rejoin these star cricketers of the past, who had contributed in making Pakistan a force to be reckoned with. We know and understand each other inside and out, and I have no doubts that with a collective approach, we will be able to reintroduce the brand of cricket that had made Pakistan a feared and dangerous side,” Yousuf, who scored 7,530 Test and 9,720 ODI runs in a career spanning from 1998 to 2010.
“Aligning the National High Performance Centre with domestic cricket to ensure there was a clear pathway for the talented cricketers and they does slip through the cracks, and attracting these former star cricketers to help Pakistan cricket who had not been part of the previous PCB set-ups, clearly indicates the vision and strategy of the PCB.
“I was always interested in a coaching assignment, but this roadmap and pathway convinced me that there was a serious intent and the right time to join the cricket set-up. My expertise is cricket, that’s the only thing I know, but at the same time you want to come when you feel and realise you are being respected and valued, and there is some future planning.”
When asked the PCB was only employing high profile names, Yousuf said assignments were only given to those who were subject specialists and had made a name through their achievements. “There are a very few bigger names in Pakistan cricket than Waqar Younis and Younis Khan” he replied.
Mohammad Yousuf wants to use his experience to help-out the youngsters, saying he was eager to serve his country once again.
“I will try to share my experience with the youngsters as batting coach with regards to technique and other related areas. I am eager to serve my country once again,” he said.
“I was available earlier as well but things could not work out. I’m glad that I’m part of the setup right now because of the presence of many great players, whom I have played with, like Mushtaq Ahmed and Waqar Younis,” he said.
Yousuf also brushed aside the notion that he isn’t comfortable while working alongside national team’s batting coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq.
“I have no issues with working alongside Misbah. Whatever I said about him is in the past now. We are working under the same umbrella with different domains but our common goal is to work for the betterment of Pakistan cricket,” he said.
He was also satisfied with the team’s performance on the recently concluded tour of England.
“The tour of England is always a tough one, especially when you are going there for the first time but our team played some really good cricket and remained competitive throughout the tour.
I was impressed with the way Shan Masood and Abid Ali played. Babar Azam is a world class player and he is only going to get better if he continues to put in the hard yards,” he said