Younus still in frame
Younus Khan could make his international comeback during the ODI leg of Pakistan's tour of Australia in January. Younus stepped down as captain and opted out of the tour of New Zealand claiming he had "lost command" of the side, and was not picked for the Test series in Australia as he had not played first-class cricket since the start of his temporary break.
But Younus is set to return to the domestic circuit, starting with the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final on December 21, where he is expected to lead Habib Bank Limited against Karachi Blues at the National Stadium. He also expressed interest in participating in the Pentangular Cup, starting on January 1.
"I had a discussion with him (Younus) recently and believe that he is in a positive frame of mind," Iqbal Qasim, the chief selector at the National Cricket Academy, told the News. "Younus has made up his mind to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final as well as the Pentangular Cup and that is a good sign."
Mohammad Yousuf was appointed captain for the tour of New Zealand, where Pakistan drew the Test series 1-1, and was retained for the Test series in Australia. Misbahul Haq took Younus' place in the XI, but has so far struggled to make an impression. Though Qasim said it could be too late for Younus to be picked for Test series against Australia, the ODI series, he felt, was a realistic possibility.
"I can't say anything about the Test series but it might already be too late," he said. "I mean we already have 16 players in Australia and will be sending another man (Mohammad Sami) there soon.
"But once Younus plays in the domestic matches then he would certainly be considered for the one-day series (against Australia)."
The Pakistan team contacted the selectors regarding Younus' availability upon their arrival in Hobart.