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  1. #1
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    "I wasn’t forced to convert to Islam as some have alleged" : Mohammad Yousuf

    Speaking to Saj for Wisden in a recent interview, former Pakistan batting great Mohammad Yousuf spoke about his humble beginnings, converting to Islam, his impressions of the Late Bob Woolmer, his career highs and lows, toughest opponents and his desire to share his experience with the younger generation as a coach.

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    Last edited by Saj; 1st March 2021 at 22:42.


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  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Humble Beginnings

    I came from a very humble background and certainly was not one of those cricketers who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Life was difficult, every day was tough and my family had to work really hard to make ends meet and to put food on the table. I worked in a tailor’s shop before I started to play cricket at the club level. But when I look back at those days, I realise they toughened me up, they prepared me to compete at the highest level of cricket and they made me realise not to take anything in life for granted. Those difficult days as a youngster made me appreciate every opportunity and grab every chance with both hands in later life.


    The Road to Success

    My earliest memory of playing cricket is using planks of wood as a bat and out of shape taped-up tennis balls. Those tennis balls would behave unpredictably, and they probably helped me face the challenges of spin and seam movement when I started playing cricket at a higher level. I would play cricket on the roads for hours, alongside my brothers and other boys from the local neighbourhood. It was like an escape for me from the challenges and difficulties of daily life. We would be dodging traffic as we imitated our cricketing heroes and at the same time receiving some very strange looks from road users.


    Talent Spotted

    One day I was playing cricket on the road, batting as usual with my full repertoire of strokes and as luck would have it, a man came up to me and said, son, you should come to the local cricket club and play there instead of just playing cricket on the local roads every day. I thought he was joking, but after getting encouragement from my brothers and friends I went to the Golden Gymkhana club in Lahore, where I started my cricket journey. From then on, I was extremely fortunate that I was given ample chances and opportunities were made available as I progressed through the ranks in cricket in Lahore. But quite often I wonder how my life would have turned out if that stranger hadn’t come up to me, encouraged me and said get yourself to your local cricket club instead of just messing about on the streets.


    A Fresh Start

    In 1994 at the age of 20, I was feeling rather disillusioned with life and felt that I needed a fresh start and at that moment I was of the opinion that cricket wasn’t for me. I planned to give up on my dream of playing cricket professionally and continue to work in the tailor’s shop, whilst playing the occasional game of club cricket. But as fate would have it, a local club was struggling for players and asked me at the last minute to make up the numbers for them. I turned up and scored a century which was exactly what I needed and which rekindled my passion for cricket.


    The Bradford Experience

    After impressing in club cricket, I eventually made my way to First-class cricket in 1996 and after a couple of first-class matches for Bahawalpur, that summer was spent in Bradford, playing for Bowling Old Lane Cricket Club. It was an interesting experience as I was only 22 years old and away from home in what felt like a strange land. The club and the locals really made me feel welcome and I still have many friends in that area of Yorkshire. The cricket was competitive and it was difficult batting on those wickets, but the challenge of playing on such surfaces really helped my confidence and self-belief as a cricketer. I scored nearly 900 runs at an average of just under 40, but unfortunately, we were relegated. However, after that summer in England, I went back to Pakistan with a real focus about my cricket, plenty of ambition and duly established myself as a regular selection in First-class cricket. Only two years after my time in the Bradford League, I made my international debut.


    First-Class Education

    I have always believed that the standard of First-class cricket is the key to how strong your national team is. I played First-class cricket for nearly 15 years and throughout that period it was competitive, no-holds-barred cricket which was a breeding ground for good international players. The bowlers I came up against never gave you an inch and that to me was the key to my relatively smooth transition from domestic cricket to Test cricket. You had the best players from departments and also from regional teams and it was very tough cricket. Every time you faced a bowling attack, it was full of current or former international bowlers and there were rarely easy runs available. The fact is that if you overlook your standard of domestic cricket, it will inevitably come back to haunt you.


    Converting to Islam

    I wasn’t forced to convert to Islam as some have alleged and tried to suggest. The reality is that I was very close to Saeed Anwar. We were great friends on and off the field and had played a lot of cricket together in our teenage years. I spent so much time with Saeed that his parents regarded me as their own son. When I was at their house, I could see the sort of peaceful and disciplined life his parents led and that really intrigued me. I had observed Saeed Anwar’s life before he became religious and how that changed when Saeed had the personal tragedy of the death of his daughter. Saeed turning to religion was an inspiration and the turning point for me that lead to my conversion to Islam.


    Toughest Opponents

    It’s an honour to look back at some of the bowlers I faced and the fact that they were at the peak of their careers. Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose were always difficult opponents, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz were always in your face and hunted batsmen in packs. South African bowlers, especially at home, were a handful, Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Lance Klusener and Fanie de Villiers were top-class bowlers. I also always had the utmost respect for Darren Gough, James Anderson, Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison. For Sri Lanka, there was Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan. India’s spin duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh always tested you. Looking back at my career, I played at a time when there was a golden generation of bowlers that will be tough to match in the future.


    Divine Intervention

    I did nothing different when it came to training or practice in 2006. Towards the end of 2005, I had converted to Islam and had read Islamic prayers for the first time. I then grew a beard and I felt at peace with myself, very calm and mentally ready for any challenge that came my way. I have always felt that my brilliant performance in 2006 was a reward from The Almighty after my conversion to Islam. I had never even dreamt that I would break Sir Vivian Richards’ record that year, but because I was at peace with myself and my surroundings, mentally I was at the top of my game and I felt that nothing could stop me or come in my way.


    Peak Yousaf

    When I look back at some of my best innings, I don’t always look at the number of runs that I scored. Sometimes the venue played a part, sometimes it was the result or at times it was the opposition that I faced. One of my favourite innings is the 83 I scored out of a total of 157 on a very difficult track at Cape Town in 2007. There was a double-hundred in Christchurch in 2001 which remains a special innings for me, as were a couple of centuries in the Caribbean in 2000 against the might of Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose that meant a lot to me also.


    Key Influences

    I owe a lot to Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq for my success. They were match-winners, they were classy on and off the field and I learnt a lot from them, not only technically, but also about the mental side of the game which many players struggle with. They taught me how to build an innings, how to bat in various conditions and how to stay calm even when the bowlers were on top. I was so fortunate that these two greats were in the team when I started playing for Pakistan. They were big characters and fantastic role-models for me and I will always be grateful for their help, advice and guidance.

    Bob Woolmer was a great coach and someone who I really enjoyed working with. He knew how to get the best out of players; his man-management was fantastic and he had that rare skill of being able to communicate as a friend, a mentor or as a colleague for all the players. He also was tough with the players when it was needed and was always there when a player needed an arm around the shoulder. He was a wonderful human being, a brilliant coach and I will always appreciate the work he did with me, cherish the time that I spent with him and remember the great memories he left.


    Memorable Moments

    One of my most memorable matches is the 2004 Champions Trophy clash against India where I was the Man of the Match. The conditions for batting were really difficult that day in Birmingham. We needed 201 to win and were struggling at 27 for 3, but I took the team home with 81 not out as we beat our arch-rivals by 3 wickets. Another memorable match is the 2009 Champions Trophy encounter against India at Centurion. We were 65 for 3 before I scored a run-a-ball 87 and shared an important partnership with Shoaib Malik as we managed a total of 302/9 and went on to win by 54 runs. Those matches against India were high-pressure occasions and it was always enjoyable to perform and help my country to victory against India. The 1999 World Cup apart from the final was a very enjoyable tournament as we played some fantastic cricket leading up to the final.


    Moments to Forget

    The career low-points were the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. We just did not perform and it was hugely disappointing as we were back home before we knew it after being knocked out in the first round, without any sort of performances to be proud of. Pakistan has been a nation that generally does well in World Cup tournaments but those two tournaments were horrendous and very forgettable. The 1999 World Cup final was also a low point from a personal point of view and for the team. I wasn’t picked for the final and the match turned into a disaster which was a huge anti-climax, as we had played some good cricket before the final at Lord’s.


    Grace and Steel

    I’d like to think that people will remember me as a batsman who was tough to dismiss, was stylish with the bat and was entertaining. I have always been a firm believer that the best batsmen are capable of performing well in all formats and you don’t have to be someone who only knows one way to bat. You can be orthodox, correct and still be effective in limited-overs formats and I believe I managed that, when others have failed in this regard.


    The Next Generation

    Looking ahead, I want to still be involved in cricket and believe that I have the experience and knowledge to work with and get the best out of batsmen. Whenever the Pakistan Cricket Board or any other Board around the world gives me the opportunity to coach players at any level, I would jump at the chance. I always believe that cricket is all about passing on your experience and what you have learnt to young cricketers, just like players such as Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar passed their knowledge to me.
    Last edited by Saj; 1st March 2021 at 22:41.


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  6. #6
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    He was a brilliant batsmen. Loved watching him bat. One of my favourite Pakistan players, I think he can do a really good job as the batting coach at NCA.

  7. #7
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    Discarded way to early if he played another 5 yrs after 2010 in uae he would have been near 10000 test runs.

    Unlike yk and misbah he was also top class in odi cricket.

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    Probably the most aesthetic Pakistani batsman I have seen. Babar is more textbook but Yousuf innings were pleasure on a different level for me

  9. #9
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    Along with Inzi our most talented batsman of the last 40 years. He achieved alot but it feels that he underachieved

  10. #10
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    Most stylish test heavyweight since the turn of the millennium, Rolls-Royce.

  11. #11
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    One of our best bats who could have achieved so much more had he been more professional and committed to his job. As a fan, my biggest disappointments with him were oat-gate and the whole ICL fiasco where he tried to blackmail the selectors in order to get into the T20 squad.

    But, what a talent. Could watch him bat all day!

  12. #12
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    he was an excellent batsmen to watch once in full flow, but his tendancy to camp on the front foot made him an lbw candidate early on and slightly suspect against the short stuff, also he wasnt particularly mentally strong.

    yousuf is a level below javid, inzi, yk and saeed in pak batsmen imo, his test stats are massively padded by performances against bang, zim and wi.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaka4pope View Post
    Most stylish test heavyweight since the turn of the millennium, Rolls-Royce.
    If ever a Pakistani batsman could be called Rolls Royce it was him

  14. #14
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    Classic player, a match winner on any day and undoubtedly a world class talent. One of Pakistan’s ATG batsmen and arguably a sub continent ATG. He was on another planet in 2006-2007, unconscious at the crease with runs flowing like a water fall. Yousuf was artist at the crease and a joy to watch. Low point was his captaincy which was painful to watch.

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    Remember him making a come back in that 2010 England series. Almost all batsmen were struggling and yet he was able to help his team win with a 50 and 30 odd despite batting after a long gap.

    Many here didn't want him back at that time.

  16. #16
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    A very enjoyable read, great work PakPassion, not heard from Moyo before on this level, bought back some memories; those were the days, what a fine middle order Pakistan had

  17. #17
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    Up until 2006 I felt Yousuf was in Inzamam's shadow, going missing too often at crunch moments.

    In 2006 however I don't think there were many better batsmen to watch in world cricket. The backlift, the precision, placement and sheer elegance of his strokeplay was breathtaking, especially on that tour of England.

    One vivid memory I have is of the 2010 Oval Test. Pakistan took a second string batting lineup on that tour with no Younis or Yousuf, who were banned after the 2009/10 Australia tour debacle by Ijaz Butt. Our batsmen were sitting ducks against swing in the first two Tests, bundled out for scores of 80 and 72.

    In comes Yousuf in the 3rd Test, and just gives a masterclass on facing swing bowling, playing the ball late under his eyes with soft hands prompting Simon Hughes on Channel 5 to do a whole segment on Yousuf's technique.

    After two Tests of total rubbish, it felt like HERE is a proper batsman.

  18. #18
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    Miss the dude. Was a great pakistani batsman and I just felt his career deserved a proper end , not the one he got. He would have scored tons more runs in the UAE and against some of the modern day attacks. Probably our best ever ODI bat.

  19. #19
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    He is highly underrated on PP because a lot of people never watched him play while others have forgotten how good he was.

    A much better batsman than Younis Khan. The fact that he missed out on a few years of the UAE is quite a tragedy.

    All the major Pakistani batting records - most Test runs, most ODI runs, most Test and ODI hundreds etc. were his for the taking.

    The fallout with PCB after he was wrongly ignored for the inaugural WT20 in 2007 ended his career because he never really patched up with PCB and was always on borrowed time.

    He should have played in all formats until 2012-2013. I bet he can still bat better than most of these young talents.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRaja View Post
    he was an excellent batsmen to watch once in full flow, but his tendancy to camp on the front foot made him an lbw candidate early on and slightly suspect against the short stuff, also he wasnt particularly mentally strong.

    yousuf is a level below javid, inzi, yk and saeed in pak batsmen imo, his test stats are massively padded by performances against bang, zim and wi.
    Younis is the odd one out in that list because he did not have the versatility and talent to be successful in both Tests and ODIs. The other batsman were versatile and scored in both formats.

    Younis was a grinder who carved out a great Test career because of his unflappable temperament.

    Purely against spin, Younis was better but Yousuf was superior against other types of bowling. That is why when they played together during the 2000-2006 period, Yousuf overshadowed Younis more often than not.

    As far as aesthetics are concerned, people who think Babar is stylish never watched Yousuf in flow. His drives were great but he was the best exponent of the late cut I have ever seen.

    Certainly the most stylish Pakistani batsman after Saeed Anwar.


  21. #21
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    Brilliant, brilliant read.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Younis is the odd one out in that list because he did not have the versatility and talent to be successful in both Tests and ODIs. The other batsman were versatile and scored in both formats.

    Younis was a grinder who carved out a great Test career because of his unflappable temperament.

    Purely against spin, Younis was better but Yousuf was superior against other types of bowling. That is why when they played together during the 2000-2006 period, Yousuf overshadowed Younis more often than not.

    As far as aesthetics are concerned, people who think Babar is stylish never watched Yousuf in flow. His drives were great but he was the best exponent of the late cut I have ever seen.

    Certainly the most stylish Pakistani batsman after Saeed Anwar.
    not often i say this when quoting your post lol, but i agree with pretty much all of that, however with respect to yk vs moyo, yk matured a lot later as a batsmen, whereas yousufs ability fell away alarmingly in his last 2 years, i dont think there peaks overlapped. peak yk imo was a slightly better batsmen (because of mentality and judgement) against all bowling types.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    If ever a Pakistani batsman could be called Rolls Royce it was him
    Simply, what a player.

    This ‘lazy elegance’ tag he got I found insulting, nothing lazy about how all components of batting - head, feet, bat swing, follow through, were all in motion.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElRaja View Post
    not often i say this when quoting your post lol, but i agree with pretty much all of that, however with respect to yk vs moyo, yk matured a lot later as a batsmen, whereas yousufs ability fell away alarmingly in his last 2 years, i dont think there peaks overlapped. peak yk imo was a slightly better batsmen (because of mentality and judgement) against all bowling types.
    I still think it was down to these haphazard gripes with management - even arriving late to tour of England in 2010 he got a 50 in first innings - started motoring before Swann got him.

    He had another 20-30, tests in him, and say with half in UAE, another 7-10 hundreds respectively.

  25. #25
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    One of my all time favorites, absolutely loved watching his effortless strokes.

  26. #26
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    He was a very ‘ziddi’ player who held grudges and that really wasted a lot of his career.

    He didn’t get picked for T20 2007 WC and took it personally and then quit and signed up for ICL. So a good 1.5-2 years of his cricket were wasted. Those were prime years. But then his dropping post 2010 SA series was unjust.

  27. #27
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    Massively underrated over here, and a severe underachiever as many have pointed out above.

    He is also a genuinely great guy and many over here have a false perception because of his blunt comments as an analyst.

    While Younis was a tactical master in neutralising a bowling attack, Yousuf was a superb technician and hence evaluates batsmen on that basis.

    This augers very well for their respective coaching assignments as both of them are given the correct job roles that are in sync with their aptitudes.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacy with wisdom View Post
    Massively underrated over here, and a severe underachiever as many have pointed out above.

    He is also a genuinely great guy and many over here have a false perception because of his blunt comments as an analyst.

    While Younis was a tactical master in neutralising a bowling attack, Yousuf was a superb technician and hence evaluates batsmen on that basis.

    This augers very well for their respective coaching assignments as both of them are given the correct job roles that are in sync with their aptitudes.
    I think it’s great both are part of the setup, even just to see their physical conditioning still, shows to a degree what they’re about.

  29. #29
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  30. #30
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    A pleasure speaking to the legend that is Mohammad Yousuf.

    One of my all-time favourite batsmen. The way he caressed the ball to the boundary was just fantastic to see. That cover drive was just awesome, the lofted cover drive off the spinners was a thing of beauty, the straight drive was just irresistible.

    What a batsman.



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    One of the best bats produced by Pakistan imo.. thoroughly enjoyed watching him playing those drives! He along with Saeed Anwar, Inzi, Sohail formed one of the most formidable batting lineups of all time. Enjoyed reading this, well done!

  32. #32
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    A legend, Mohammed Yousuf. What a player he was, I remember in 2006 he was just undismissable. Very elegant and so easy on the eye. Absolutely love MoYo.

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    Yousuf was one of the all time greats ot the game , massively underrated and i still think had he not went on to play icl he would have easily scored 10k odi runs and 8000+ test runs
    Deserved to play 2011 wc ahead of yk and misbah

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    Wow... so even him ending up playing cricket was just a stroke of luck, he wouldn’t have even given it a shot if that man hadn’t come up and asked him to play for the club... that’s the feeling I’m getting from what he’s saying.

    Wonder how many talented kids there are like that out there. Those that may never attempt the sport seriously or just get lost in the system.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Younis is the odd one out in that list because he did not have the versatility and talent to be successful in both Tests and ODIs. The other batsman were versatile and scored in both formats.

    Younis was a grinder who carved out a great Test career because of his unflappable temperament.

    Purely against spin, Younis was better but Yousuf was superior against other types of bowling. That is why when they played together during the 2000-2006 period, Yousuf overshadowed Younis more often than not.

    As far as aesthetics are concerned, people who think Babar is stylish never watched Yousuf in flow. His drives were great but he was the best exponent of the late cut I have ever seen.

    Certainly the most stylish Pakistani batsman after Saeed Anwar.
    Oh man!! I miss those late cuts!!! Have not seen anyone in recent times to come close to that. Feels like a forgotten art now.

    People have short memories but yousuf was way superior to younis. Growing up in 90s and 2000s I knew no kid on street who rated anyone over saeed and yousuf. Inzi was there but with nostalgia that if he reduces his weight to 1992 levels then he won’t be walking across for a single instead of running!!

  36. #36
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    One of my memories of yousuf is Inzi and Woolmer amazed at the finesse of a yousuf cover drive and trying to replicate it with hands in the dressing room.

    And during one Australia tour in early 2000s, Australian commentators were absolutely enthralled by him.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by wajid View Post
    Oh man!! I miss those late cuts!!! Have not seen anyone in recent times to come close to that. Feels like a forgotten art now.

    People have short memories but yousuf was way superior to younis. Growing up in 90s and 2000s I knew no kid on street who rated anyone over saeed and yousuf. Inzi was there but with nostalgia that if he reduces his weight to 1992 levels then he won’t be walking across for a single instead of running!!
    Yousuf would often bisect the WK and first slip with his late cuts. Amazing skill. The level of assurance that he provided at number 3 in ODIs and the middle-order in Tests was unmatched by other Pakistani batsmen.

    Going from Ijaz the axe man to Yousuf at 3 was a massive upgrade. I feel if Yousuf was born a generation earlier, Pakistan would have produced much better results in the 90’s. Ijaz played well on bouncy wickets but he was too inconsistent in home Tests. An average player of spin bowling.

  38. #38
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    Watch and enjoy this master-class.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    He is highly underrated on PP because a lot of people never watched him play while others have forgotten how good he was.

    A much better batsman than Younis Khan. The fact that he missed out on a few years of the UAE is quite a tragedy.

    All the major Pakistani batting records - most Test runs, most ODI runs, most Test and ODI hundreds etc. were his for the taking.

    The fallout with PCB after he was wrongly ignored for the inaugural WT20 in 2007 ended his career because he never really patched up with PCB and was always on borrowed time.

    He should have played in all formats until 2012-2013. I bet he can still bat better than most of these young talents.
    Agree. Saw him play early in his career as 'Yousuf Yohana'.
    What a talent. For me one of his most outstanding ODI innings was against India in the 2004 Champions Trophy match in Birmingham.


    Pakistan Cricket: Exciting, Entertaining, Unpredictable, Dangerous and Unique.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suleiman View Post
    Wow... so even him ending up playing cricket was just a stroke of luck, he wouldn’t have even given it a shot if that man hadn’t come up and asked him to play for the club... that’s the feeling I’m getting from what he’s saying.

    Wonder how many talented kids there are like that out there. Those that may never attempt the sport seriously or just get lost in the system.
    A similar story of many Pakistani cricketers over the years.

    Many were spotted by chance, rather than coming through PCB youth system or academies.



  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Braveheart View Post
    Agree. Saw him play early in his career as 'Yousuf Yohana'.
    What a talent. For me one of his most outstanding ODI innings was against India in the 2004 Champions Trophy match in Birmingham.
    A truly special innings on a seaming wicket. So much for being labeled a “choker”.

    He played so many great innings across both formats. He would have done really well as an opener in T20s but Pakistan was too scared to be adventurous and took vastly inferior players like Butt and Hafeez to the WT20 in 2007.

  42. #42
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    Yes...used to love watching him bat.

    But, I always thought he wasnt as mentally tough as Inzi or YK.

    I would say, Asad Shafiq is a poor man's M Yousuf.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ami View Post
    Yes...used to love watching him bat.

    But, I always thought he wasnt as mentally tough as Inzi or YK.

    I would say, Asad Shafiq is a poor man's M Yousuf.
    Asad Shafiq wasn't fit to tie Mohammad Yousuf's shoelaces.

    Yousuf was on a different level to the mediocre Shafiq.



  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ami View Post
    Yes...used to love watching him bat.

    But, I always thought he wasnt as mentally tough as Inzi or YK.

    I would say, Asad Shafiq is a poor man's M Yousuf.
    Yousuf had ATG potential had he not had a truncated career. He is still one of the best batsmen of the last 2 decades.
    Shafiq on the other hand is your run of the mill average test batsman who has played far too many tests than he deserved.
    That is as absurd a comparison as I have ever heard.
    Last edited by Pacy with wisdom; 6th March 2021 at 22:01.

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    Him along with Inzi couldn't perform at the world cup when it really mattered. Inzi had that 1992 semi final performance.

    These guys could make as amny runs they wanted in series, but in world cup they sucked.


    "Life is Pain"
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    A similar story of many Pakistani cricketers over the years.

    Many were spotted by chance, rather than coming through PCB youth system or academies.
    I’m sure. This is why I don’t buy the story that there’s no talent in Pakistan. I’m sure there is, this is the only sport the entire country knows at their heart even if they don’t watch it much anymore. I’m supposed to believe a place like NZ or Australia where cricket is not even the main sport has more talent? That’s insane.

    There’s just zero systems of processes to nurture the talent. Must be so many kids out there who may have the gift with bat ball and/or gloves but they won’t go through with it because their mind is on putting food on the table and other adversities on their mind as a modern day Pakistani. They may not even know where the opportunities lie for them to make a living out of it.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post
    Him along with Inzi couldn't perform at the world cup when it really mattered. Inzi had that 1992 semi final performance.

    These guys could make as amny runs they wanted in series, but in world cup they sucked.
    That surely is not the yardstick of success?


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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    That surely is not the yardstick of success?
    it might not be, and i might be abit biased here. But than again, for me the world cup was always the benchmark for how good a player was.

    Performing when it really really really mattered. Yousuf did nothing against Ireland, and even sucked against Zimbabwe aswell.

    Great players perform when it really matters.

    ANotehr problem with Yousuf was his ego. He never believed in self improvement or growth. Once he became international, he barely came back for domestic cricket.

    People here say Yousuf is underrated, but i believe he over-achieved. With the kind of work ethic this guy had and the way he did not bother about first class cricket, he is lucky he got those runs. IN todays cricket, i doubt he would even get that.

    By the end of his career, Yousuf had found another excuse that he didn't want to play domestic cricket for Banks as it was religiously wrong. To me, those were just excuses, he didnt want to play domestic circket and was hoping he would play Pakistan just on his international recognition


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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post
    Him along with Inzi couldn't perform at the world cup when it really mattered. Inzi had that 1992 semi final performance.

    These guys could make as amny runs they wanted in series, but in world cup they sucked.
    He only really played one WC.

    1999 got injured early on.

    2007 got derailed pretty quickly

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ami View Post
    Yes...used to love watching him bat.

    But, I always thought he wasnt as mentally tough as Inzi or YK.

    I would say, Asad Shafiq is a poor man's M Yousuf.
    M Yousuf was better than Inzi and YK imo. He bailed Pakistan out in countless situations.

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    A fantastic batsman and one of the greats. Had the PCB been competent, Yousuf could have continued his career and like Younis, would have reached ATG status.

    Imagine this batting lineup:

    Hafeez
    Taufeeq (lol, okay maybe ignore him)
    Azhar
    Yousuf
    Younis
    Misbah

    However, there was too much bad blood between Yousuf and the duo of Younis and Misbah. I'm glad that the divisions and internal groupings in the Pakistan team were erased even if it did cost us several years of Mohammad Yousuf's career.

    As far as him reverting to Islam is concerned, I'm happy for him, MashAllah. I do remember laughing at one of the Indian news channels that were extremely upset at the news and were claiming that Danish Kaneria would be forced to convert next.


    لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post

    Performing when it really really really mattered. Yousuf did nothing against Ireland, and even sucked against Zimbabwe aswell.

    Great players perform when it really matters.

    ANotehr problem with Yousuf was his ego. He never believed in self improvement or growth. Once he became international, he barely came back for domestic cricket.
    This has got to the funniest thing i've read today. Dude has knocked out a record for most runs in a Calender year that is STILL standing for more than 15 years.

    He won countless games for Pakistan. Yet you're here talking about Zimbabwe and Ireland?

    And so what if he didn't play Domestic Cricket? If anything, the big teams actually prohibit their players playing in domestic cricket to protect from overworking and injuries.

  53. #53
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    Very stylish batter. Never understood why he has forced out.

  54. #54
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    My grief will never end as Yousuf was denied of the most successful batsman in Pak cricket history. He was denied a long 7 years of cricket career for Pakistan when he was in prime. He would have scored 10000 plus runs in both tests and ODIs easily. The most elegant and effort less batsmen from Pakistan I have ever seen.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
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    Dang I've never seen Inzy this slender, always thought he was on the bulkier side, I wonder if he could've maintained this physique perhaps his record would be even better.

  56. #56
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    Former Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has credited his spectacular performance in 2006 to his conversion to Islam a year before. The 46-year old had an extraordinary run of success, which began with a 199-ball 173 against India at Lahore. Yousuf then had a memorable outing during Pakistan’s 2006 tour to England and even broke Sir Vivian Richards’ record –of most runs in a calendar year.

    He finished with an aggregate of 1788, eclipsing Richards’s tally of 1710.

    In a recent interview to wisden.com, Yousuf admitted that he was inspired by his ‘close’ friend Saeed Anwar who turned to religion after his daughter’s death.

    Yousuf saw the changes it brought to Saeed’s life which became a turning point for him to convert to Islam.

    “I wasn’t forced to convert to Islam as some have alleged and tried to suggest. The reality is that I was very close to Saeed Anwar. We were great friends on and off the field and had played a lot of cricket together in our teenage years. I spent so much time with Saeed that his parents regarded me as their own son. When I was at their house, I could see the sort of peaceful and disciplined life his parents led and that really intrigued me,” Yousuf was quoted as saying by PakPassion.net.

    “I had observed Saeed Anwar’s life before he became religious and how that changed when Saeed had the personal tragedy of the death of his daughter. Saeed turning to religion was an inspiration and the turning point for me that lead to my conversion to Islam,” said Yousuf.

    Recalling his spectacular performance in 2006 a reward from God after his conversion, Yousuf said, “I did nothing different when it came to training or practice in 2006. Towards the end of 2005, I had converted to Islam and had read Islamic prayers for the first time. I then grew a beard and I felt at peace with myself, very calm and mentally ready for any challenge that came my way.”

    I have always felt that my brilliant performance in 2006 was a reward from The Almighty after my conversion to Islam. I had never even dreamt that I would break Sir Vivian Richards’ record that year, but because I was at peace with myself and my surroundings, mentally I was at the top of my game and I felt that nothing could stop me or come in my way,” he added.


    The 45-year-old represented Pakistan in 90 Tests and scored 7,530 runs, which included 24 centuries and 33 fifties, at an average of 52.29. He also featured in 288 ODIs and accumulated 9,720 runs, which included 15 hundreds and 64 half-centuries, at an average of 41.71. Yousuf also played three Twenty20 Internationals and made 50 runs at an average of 16.66.

    Deeming the peak of his career a golden time for bowlers, Yousuf said, “It’s an honour to look back at some of the bowlers I faced and the fact that they were at the peak of their careers. Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose were always difficult opponents, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz were always in your face and hunted batsmen in packs.

    “South African bowlers, especially at home, were a handful, Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Lance Klusener and Fanie de Villiers were top-class bowlers. I also always had the utmost respect for Darren Gough, James Anderson, Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison. For Sri Lanka, there was Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan. India’s spin duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh always tested you. Looking back at my career, I played at a time when there was a golden generation of bowlers that will be tough to match in the future,” said Yousuf.

    https://indianexpress.com/article/sp...ousuf-7220970/


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