The return of Younus Khan
Why was Younus kept out of the England tour despite the fact that he was well-adapted to conditions in England?
Younus Khan rescued Pakistan through a memorable, match-saving century against South Africa in Dubai.
It’s rare for Pakistan to stage such a fight in Tests and that too against a top team like the Proteas.
Younus hit an unbeaten 131 as Pakistan earned a draw after accumulating 343-3.
His brilliant knock made me wonder what Pakistan could have achieved on their marathon tour of England earlier this year had Younus been a part of the tour, which was overall disastrous.
Pakistan’s batsmen flopped miserably on the tour and the visitors crashed to series defeats against England in all three formats of the game.
The team mainly included young batters who were not experienced enough to cope up with English conditions against tough bowling attacks.
However, the million-dollar question is: why was Younus kept out in spite of the fact that he was fit and well-adapted to conditions in England.
Younus was among the seven players who were fined or banned from the national team following a catastrophic tour of Australia earlier this year.
He was charged with fighting with the team and was barred from selection “indefinitely”.
Although, the batsman had his ban overturned by a PCB tribunal, his relations with chairman Ijaz Butt turned bitter following statements by his lawyer Ahmed Qayyum.
For no rhyme or reason, Butt decided against clearing Younus for his national duty. At times the excuse he gave was that Younus was not fit or in good form. On other occasions, he said that the batsman could play for Pakistan until he settles his issues with the PCB.
In my opinion, it seems like the PCB chief made it a personal issue against the batsman who refused to apologise to him. But Younus proved that form is temporary but class is permanent.
Last month, PCB bosses were finally forced to re-call him, fully aware that South Africa would crush Pakistan’s batting.
Their decision allowed Younus to make his batting do all the talking. And he did so, with utter class.