SWABI: Pakistan’s brilliant leg-spinner Yasir Shah said here on Friday that he is fit and ready to join Pakistan cricket team for the upcoming two month-long tour of England which is scheduled to commence from July 14.
The 29-year-old Yasir, who belongs to district Swabi, took the world of cricket by storm last year by grabbing as many as 76 wickets in 12 Test matches, thus achieving the distinction of being the quickest of Pakistan bowler to reach the 50-wicket mark.
Yasir bowled superbly against England in United Arabs Emirates in October and September last year and was one of the key figures in Pakistan winning the Tests series 2-0.
When approached by this correspondent in Gohati Cricket stadium where he conducts his regular practice, Yasir said: “I am available for Pakistan team for the upcoming tough tour of England.”
“I am ready to play for my country again according to the wishes of my people and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB),” he remarked.
Yasir was provisionally suspended on Dec 27 last year after confirmation of usage of banned substance that is prohibited by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The PCB later appealed with the International Cricket Council (ICC) against Yasir’s ban when he assured the officials that he was not aware that his wife’s blood pressure medicine which he had taken contained prohibited substance.
However, Yasir was banned for three months by ICC after testing positive. The imposed ban ended on March 27 and now he is available once again to play for the country.
The upcoming England tour will, indeed, be a challenging one for Pakistan who will be playing four Tests, five One day Internationals (ODI) and a T20 game.
Yasir was upbeat about rejoining the team after ending of the ban and it would be amazing to play in post period of Pakistan’s shameful exit from the T20 World Cup.
Meanwhile it has been learnt that fast Junaid Khan, who also belongs to Swabi district, is in England and is expected to return soon. “Junaid is expected to be back home very soon,” said his uncle Liaqat Yousafzai.
Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2016