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England vs Pakistan – Saqlain clamours for Younus return

| 03.08.2010

Saqlain Mushtaq has welcomed the return of Mohammad Yousuf to the Pakistan fold – but would like to see Younus Khan back too.

A young Pakistan side suffered a crushing 354-run defeat to England in the first Test at Trent Bridge after being bowled out for just 80 in their second innings.

Yousuf and Younus were banned from the national team for infighting during the ruinous winter tour of Australia when Pakistan lost all three Tests and five one-day internationals.

Yousuf then retired from international cricket but with Pakistan’s batting so weak at present, he has been persuaded to return for Friday’s second Test, which Pakistan are 5/1 to win.

Yousuf has instantly been installed as the 7/2 favourite to be Pakistan’s top series runscorer, but his participation in the second Test is in doubt after he was unable to travel to England having failed to obtain the right visa.

“We need Yousuf and Younus in the team,” Saqlain said. “If you look at their records their average is over 50 and they have played in England and all over the world, and have made plenty of runs.”

“We have some very talented young players in the team and I’m not saying we should chuck them out. Keep them in,” the former Pakistan off-spinner added.

“But if these two players are in the side the youngsters will learn from them while sitting in the dressing room and while playing.”

Saqlain also thinks skipper Salman Butt should be given the chance to prove himself as captain on a long-term basis despite his up-and-down start to his time at the helm.

Salman last month guided Pakistan to their first win against Australia since 1995, and the opening batsman is 5/1 to be his country’s leading runscorer in the series with England.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.