Karachi, Oct 6: Pakistan's chief selector and now interim coach, Mohsin Khan has said that senior players Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan have set high fitness benchmark for others to achieve if they want to play for the national cricket team.
The former Test opener said that Misbah at the age of 37 and Younis at 34 have set new benchmarks for fitness and selection in the national team.
"I don't think age is now a major issue as long as the player is very fit and hungry for cricket. Because it is difficult to hide a player who is not 100 per cent fit in international cricket and in every format of the game," Mohsin said while reacting to media reports that he had advised Mohammad Yousuf to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy that commenced at various centres in the country on Thursday.
Yousuf, however, didn't play in the premier domestic competition indicating a virtual end to his international career as he has not been considered for national selection since last year in November when he last played an ODI against South Africa in UAE.
Asked about his conversation with Yousuf, Mohsin said that he never spoke to the former skipper.
"Look I have not spoken to Yousuf but I think it is wrong to say so or to say that this player can now no longer play for Pakistan," he said.
Mohsin noted that while a player who is not 100 per cent fit could manage things and hide himself on the field in domestic cricket, this was no longer possible in international cricket giving a clear indication as to the reason why the national selectors were not considering Yousuf for the national team since last year.
Mohsin said that Misbah and Younis were shining examples for other players to follow as far as maintaining their fitness was concerned.
"Even at their age they are more fit than some of the younger players which is a tribute to them."
"There is no doubt or question at all over Yousuf's greatness as a batsman and he is still great. If he decides to play in domestic cricket others can learn a lot from him and anything can happen," Mohsin said.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has made a member of the national selection committee, Mohammad Illyas, acting chief selector until Mohsin is performing duties as head coach of the national team for the coming series against Sri Lanka in the UAE.
Mohsin said he was looking forward to the coaching assignment as a big challenge.
"It will be a good experience watching these players up close and obviously our target is to try to win the series against Sri Lanka but for that we have to be very fit and more hungry for success," he added.
The former test player conceded that the coming seven to eight months would be a real test for Pakistan cricket but was also a golden opportunity for the national team to improve its rankings and stature.
"You win against stronger or equally matched teams and everyone appreciates your perfomrance more," he added.