Yousuf tarnished team image, says Malik

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said he still respected Mohammad Yousuf as a senior player but felt it was wrong on his part to make accusations against him.

Updated: December 03, 2008 09:03 IST
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Lashing out at Mohammad Yousuf, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said the senior batsman should have spared a thought for the team's image before going to India and giving vent to his disgruntlement there.

Malik said he still respected Yousuf as a senior player but felt it was wrong on his part to hold a press conference in India and make accusations against him.

"I don't know why he is saying this. But it would have been better if he had come to me as a senior player, friend or brother and told me about his feelings," Malik said while appearing on a show on 'Dunya' channel.

"This would have been better instead of him going to India and saying all these things in a press conference there. "I still respect him as a senior player and as a friend and I feel he still could have given a lot to Pakistan team and we needed his services. Yousuf should have thought about Pakistan cricket," he added.

Yousuf, who joined the rebel Indian Cricket League last month, has repeatedly claimed that he was forced to do this because Malik didn't give him the required respect as a senior player. He also said Malik was not as good a captain as India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Referring to Yousuf's comparing him with Dhoni, Malik said as a captain he has always tried to give his best.

"I only know as captain I have given my best and try to lead by example. I don't shy away from challenges whether it is batting in a crisis or bowling in power play. What more can I do as captain."
The all-rounder made it clear that neither he got an offer from the ICL nor would he have considered such an offer.

"I frankly don't have the time for such leagues and for me the priority is my country."

Meanwhile, former Test pacer and assistant coach of the Pakistan team, Aaqib Javed also lashed out at the ICL and players who had joined it.

He said people should first realise what level of competition there was in the ICL and then voice their demand of recalling the players who performed well in the league to the national team.

"It is just like club cricket. I don't understand how people can say these players should be picked on those basis given the competition they are batting or bowling against. As it is the ICL is not recognised by the ICC, PCB or the Indian board so these players can't be selected."

Aaqib said the players should have given first priority to Pakistan before deciding to join the ICL.

"Till the last moment Yousuf was with me at the academy training and he didn't tell me anything," he added.

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