Pakistan were yesterday confident Mohammad Yousuf would be cleared to travel to the United Kingdom in time for this week's second Test against England. Yousuf, the former Pakistan captain, was prevented from joining up with the national squad on Monday because he did not have the correct visa. Yawar Saeed, the team manager, expected the 35-year-old batsman to be given the green light to leave Pakistan today.
Explaining the visa application was being dealt with by the British High Commission in Islamabad, Saeed said: "The application was given [on Monday], and they are to give their reply. "So we're just waiting for their reply. He has a visa, it is just that it needs to be converted into a sport visa, rather than a visitor visa. "It's just a technicality." He added: "I am very optimistic. I'm being told it should be done. If it is, he should be on his way [today]."
Yousuf was recalled for the second Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham, which starts on Friday, following Pakistan's first-Test thrashing at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The veteran has not played for his country since January after being banned indefinitely following the disasterous winter tour to Australia. Yousuf had been the captain of a squad of which nearly half were punished. In March, days after being suspended, he elected to retire from international cricket. But last month saw him reveal he was "ready and available to serve my country". * PA