Dhaka: Yousuf Youhana is the "found generation" cricketer in the Pakistan side. Youhana has been playing with an overwhelming consistency much to the dismay of opposition bowlers.
A greater admirer of Javed Miandad, this young Pakistan middle order batsman has moulded his style on lines of the Pakistan coach. "I used to bunk classes in order to go and watch him (Miandad) bat. To me there can be no player like him," he said. The following is an excerpt of the interview.
From where does the Yousuf Youhana success story begin?
I was 11 when I took up the game. We used to stay near the Golden Gymkhana Club. I used to play cricket in the club compound with a table tennis ball with my elder brother.
Club authorities noted my talent as a batsman and later allowed me play for the club. A few years and a few clubs later, I made my first class debut in 1996.
You made it to the national team within two years?
Yes, I played only two first-class games before being picked for the national team. Both these matches were against touring the England team and I had scored heavily in them. I therefore got my first break in the squad for the Independence Cup played in Dhaka in 1998.
Wasn't it difficult to come up the ranks in a line up which boasted of several superstars?
I played my first Test on the tour of South Africa. I was included in Salim Malik's place. I was a bit nervous, but the seniors went out of their way to make me feel comfortable.
What was your reaction when your childhood hero Javed Miandad was made Pakistan's coach?
I was dumb-struck. I always wanted to bat like him. I used to bunk classes in order to go and watch him bat. To me there can be no player like him. So, it was a great experience just to meet him.